DISSIDENTS will not get a chance to meet President Clinton during his visit to the mainland. Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth said: 'At this point, I don't believe we're going to have dissidents on the schedule. 'If you met with them, there is the possibility that what could result is exactly the opposite of what you want. Instead of advancing the cause of freedom and democracy and human rights, you'd end up worsening it.' American officials feared meetings could end up with the dissidents being punished by the Beijing Government, said Mr Roth. But he said the decision 'should by no means be interpreted as acquiescence with China's human rights policy'. 'The President will speak his mind about human rights and what our differences are.' The Clinton administration is pointing to cases such as that of Wei Jingsheng, now in exile in the US, whose brief spell out of prison in 1994 was ended after he held a meeting with a visiting US State Department official in Beijing. But mainland dissident Xu Wenli said concerns that the dissidents might be persecuted were irrelevant. 'As President of the United States, he should promote Western democracy and pay attention to human rights issues,' said Mr Xu. 'This announcement effectively means he has abandoned his responsibilities.' Seventy dissidents have written to Mr Clinton, urging him to remember the blood spilled in the 1989 crackdown on democracy protests when he reviews Chinese troops at Tiananmen Square.