A Murky Outlook

Jiang Xiaoming / Color China Photo / AP

Without free speech, there can be no political reform, says writer and blogger Li Chengpeng

With record air pollution hanging over China in mid-January, it made sense for celebrity blogger Li Chengpeng to wear a face mask. But the former investigative journalist, who has racked up 6.6 million followers on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, wasn't protecting himself from the foul air. Before a book signing for his latest collection of essays, Everyone in the World Knows, Li was told by authorities that he could take "no questions from readers, no talking at all — not even 'happy new year' or 'thank you.'" His response to the gag order? Sartorial subversion in the form...

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