Balladur backs off

SHANGHAI - The French Prime Minister, Edouard Balladur, salvaged his trip to China yesterday by papering over a potentially damaging human rights row about the detention of two Shanghai dissidents. Mr Balladur said that he had accepted a Chinese assurance that Bao Ge and Wang Fuchen had not been arrested before his arrival in the city yesterday. The official Chinese version appeared to hinge on the technical definition of arrest. Reuter

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