Tuesday, September 28, 1999 Published at 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Rights groups criticise China
Police have arrested thousands in the run-up to 1 October
Human rights groups have attacked China's human rights record and called for reforms, as the country prepares to celebrate 50 years of communist rule.
It also called on China to "stop arbitrary detention, torture and executions" and take radical action to reform the law enforcement and justice systems.
The state-controlled Chinese media announced last Friday that the courts intended to sentence more than 200 to death before the anniversary celebrations begin on 1 October.
Correspondents say most executions in China are usually carried out immediately after the sentence has been handed down.
According to Amnesty, which campaigns against the death penalty worldwide, about half of all executions take place in China.
"There's little for the Chinese people to celebrate" on 1 October, HRIC said in a statement timed to coincide with the Fortune Global Forum meeting in Shanghai.
President Jiang Zemin told 300 chief executives of multinational companies gathered in Shanghai that they must understand Chinese values and the "right to survival and development" before making judgements about human rights.
'Prisoners of conscience'
Although there is no evidence to suggest dissidents are among those expected to be killed this week, reports from China say political activists have been targetted before the anniversary celebrations.
"The government has detained a broad range of people who dared to exercise peacefully their rights to freedom of expression or association," the group said, adding that long sentences have been handed down for subversion under sweeping national security provisions introduced in 1997.
Amnesty said that as well as dissidents, those detained included people who had raised a whole range of issues, such as labour rights, the environment and corruption, and members of religious groups.