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China: U.S. Pleased With Dissident's Release

Washington, 18 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. says the release of prominent Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng is great news, but Washington also says it played no role in Wei's release.

State Department spokesman Lee McClenny said yesterday the Chinese government's decision to let Wei leave China on what was called a medical parole was strictly Beijing's decision. Wei is now in a hospital in the midwestern U.S. city of Detroit undergoing medical tests.

The U.S. called on China to release a number of political prisoners during the summit in Washington two weeks ago between President Bill Clinton and President Jiang Zemin. However, McClenny declined to say whether Wei's case was one of those discussed.

McClenny says the U.S. also hopes that Wei will be able to freely return to China if he wants to and that he would be allowed to express his political views without fear.