HUMAN rights activists put pressure on China to improve its human rights record yesterday as prominent congresswoman Ms Nancy Pelosi said she might accept making better human rights the United States' only condition for extending Most Favoured Nation (MFN) trading status. A coalition of US-based human rights groups has issued a statement demanding the immediate release on medical parole of several prominent pro-democracy political prisoners said to be seriously ill in Chinese prisons. They included Wang Juntao, who was sentenced to 13 years in 1991 as one of the ''black-hands'' behind the 1989 pro-democracy movement. According to Mr Sidney Jones, executive director of Asia Watch, one of the signatories, Mr Wang's hepatitis ''is active again, his liver functions are deteriorating and he has symptoms that are consistent with coronary disease''. ''We are also extremely concerned about the medical neglect of Ren Wanding, Xu Wenli, Liu Gang and others. ''The medical facilities in prison are inadequate to care for Wang and he should be released immediately,'' Mr Jones said. Earlier this week, Wang's wife, Miss Hou Xiaotian said her husband would go on hunger strike if his appeal for release went unheeded by the authorities. In Washington, prominent Chinese dissident, Professor Fang Lizhi, urged Congress to attach conditions to the renewal of MFN for China, predicting China would improve its human rights record as a result. ''I believe that all the conditions can and will be met by the Chinese Government in order to retain their substantial trade advantage with the US,'' he said in a letter made public on Thursday by Ms Pelosi. ''We have seen that when the Chinese Government truly believed that their MFN status would be conditioned further, they responded with the release of political prisoners,'' he wrote. ''Once they were assured that the administration would not take such action, they stopped such releases.'' Professor Fang, a well-known astrophysicist, was himself allowed to leave the country after intense US lobbying. He and his wife took refuge in the US Embassy in Beijing for more than a year after the June 4 crackdown. Meanwhile, in Washington, Ms Pelosi was not expecting full passage of the bill she introduced, with wide support in Congress, that would renew MFN status for one year but condition future renewals on human rights, arms dealings and unfair trade practices. She said Mr Clinton would issue an executive order that incorporated some of her ideas and eliminate the need for another fractious political battle. ''I am proud of the legislation, but the President, being the President, can improve on it,'' she said. ''I consider legislation a last resort.'' Ms Pelosi said there was a possibility that the administration would link the future trade status to a better human rights record, but would deal separately with the issues of arms dealing and the trade imbalance. She said she might accept that arrangement. But she insisted on the importance of her bill, which also urges the Chinese to cease religious persecution in China and Tibet, end jamming of Voice of America broadcasts and allow access to trials and prisons for human rights monitors. Noting that China had done nothing to improve human rights during three years of unconditioned trade, she said: ''It's amazing what American business is willing to squander to have access to cheap labour. The Chinese recognise greed when they see it.''