New job for top dissident
LEADERS of the overseas Chinese pro-democracy movement meeting in Washington have elected a well-known activist, Mr Xu Bangtai, to head a new dissident organisation.
Mr Xu, who fled China after the Tiananmen Square crackdown, pledged after winning a hard-fought contest that he would step up efforts to promote democracy in China.
He defeated five other contestants, all well-known Chinese exiled dissidents, to head the new enlarged organisation, formed by the merger of two groups based in New York and Paris.
Mr Xu is from San Francisco and operates the Voice of China radio which broadcasts pro-democracy themes. His term runs for two years.
Two deputy chairmen, Mr Yang Chienli and Mr Zhang Boli, who also participated in the Tiananmen uprising, were elected.
Two high-profile candidates, Mr Hu Ping, the former chairman of the Alliance for Democracy in China (ADC), and dissident writer Wang Ruowang, withdrew from the race.
The elections followed a three-day convention by leading Chinese activists who gathered to elect a new leadership to head the group.
The New York-based ADC and the Paris-based Federation for Democracy in China will now be known as United Front for Democracy in China. Washington will be the new headquarters.