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Chinese dissidents form labour party

DISSIDENTS IN China have formed an independent labour party, despite a government crackdown that has put dozens of their colleagues in prison, an exiled activist said yesterday.

Organisers of the new group, the Chinese Labour Party, will attempt to register the group in Peking, according to a US-based dissident, Ye Ning.

In recent weeks, China's ruling Communist Party has imprisoned leaders of another would-be opposition group, the China Democracy Party, in its most severe suppression of dissent in three years. The crackdown has prompted dissidents in China and in exile to protest and demand the release of the democracy campaigners. "The China Democracy Party has already given the dictators a headache. Now, here comes the Labour Party. People are tired of terrors," Mr Ning said.

China's leaders have said they will increase efforts to quash any challenges as the country approaches several anniversaries, including the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre and the 50th anniversary of the founding of Communist China.

The government rejected all efforts by members of the China Democracy Party to register the group. It is unlikely to welcome attempts to form independent trade union groups or the Labour Party, given its fears of the rising unrest among retrenched workers and farmers. (AP)