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CHINA ROUNDS UP LAST DISSIDENTS AS MEET NEARS

With less than a month to go before the U.N. conference on women opens in Beijing, Chinese police have started rounding up the few local dissidents not already in custody.

One of them, Tong Zeng, was taken from his home Tuesday afternoon by police and called a friend Wednesday to say that he was going on a hunger strike. No other information was available.Tong has been trying to win compensation for Chinese victims of Japanese war atrocities, such as women forced into prostitution by the Japanese army. He had planned to raise the issue at a forum for non-governmental organizations being held in conjunction with the U.N. conference.

Chinese authorities routinely round up or run out of town dissidents, beggars, migrant workers and others considered troublemakers during sensitive periods, such as the anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown on the Tian- anmen Square democracy movement, and important meetings.

The 10-day non-governmental forum opens Aug. 30, and the U.N. conference is set for Sept. 4-15.

Tong's activities are a sensitive issue because the Chinese government gave up any claims to war reparations when it established diplomatic relations with Japan in 1972. Officially, it has said individuals may seek compensation, but it does not support such activities.

In recent weeks, authorities have actively tried to prevent Tong and others from agitating for compensation, ordering him to leave town during the women's conference, breaking up a news conference on Monday and confiscating passports.

One of Tong's associates, Li Dingguo, was taken into police custody during the news conference.

Also on Monday, police took into custody Christian activist Gao Feng and searched his room. They confiscated a copy of an appeal that he was working on for Liu Gang, a leader of the Tiananmen Square movement.

Few Beijing activists remain free. Many were picked up around the Tiananmen Square anniversary and have not been released.