Dissidents' letters to be published

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 February, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 February, 1995, 12:00am

LETTERS exchanged by prominent dissident Chen Ziming and his wife Wang Zhihong while he was in jail for his role in the June 4 pro-democracy movement will be published.

This will be the first book from Chen since his release on parole last May.

At the suggestion of journalist Gao Yu, a colleague of Chen's at the banned Economics Weekly now serving a six-year sentence for leaking state secrets to Hong Kong-based publications, the collection will be called Yin Yang Jie (The Boundary of Yin and Yang).

Ms Wang is also writing the story of Chen's attempted escape, arrest and sentencing, losing his appeal and then his release.

Ms Wang said yesterday her husband, who suffered from cancer, was still under close police surveillance.

'He still does not have the freedom of movement.

'Police are sitting outside our home all the time.

'Wherever he goes, he has to tell them and ask for their permission,' Ms Wang said.

The dissident has been put under virtual house arrest since he was released. He is now spending most of his time reading and doing research, she said.

'His health is slowly recovering. The medical checkup last month showed there was no proliferation of cancer. But he needs to go back for further examinations,' she said.

Mr Chen had a cancerous tumour removed from his urinary system last September. He suffered from heart, skin, stomach and kidney problems contracted while in jail.

Ms Wang said she did not foresee any particular problems publishing the books, although she has yet to confirm a publisher and there was the fact of the police keeping a close watch on her husband.

The letters between the husband and wife cover Chen's life and his thoughts while he was in prison between 1990 and 1994.

The correspondence also touches on the dissident's views on issues such as capitalism, socialism, democracy, education, intellectuals and the civil service.