Veteran China dissident urges linking of human rights, trade

TOKYO (AP) — Veteran Chinese dissident Wang Dan is urging Western nations to restore the link between human rights and trade with China.

Wang was speaking Wednesday in Tokyo days ahead of the 30th anniversary of the 1989 student pro-democracy protests centered on Beijing's Tiananmen Square, of which he was a key leader.

Wang said China's authoritarian government poses a threat to free societies everywhere, requiring foreign nations to take tougher action to curb its abuses. He said the overthrow of the one-party Communist government must be the ultimate goal of such a campaign.

Wang said free trade should be conditional on China's respect for freedoms including labor rights and an open internet. He said putting rights on the agenda could also help reduce the U.S.-China trade imbalance.