CHINA: Of Tolerance

In Nanking last week China's first National Assembly convened; its 3,000 members will elect the nation's President and Vice President. The occasion, which marked China's precarious transition from one-party regime to parliamentary government, was not without incident. Ten Kuomintang dissenters who were under party censure for getting themselves elected as "independents" staged a hunger strike in the gold-&-cream Assembly hall. Cunning officials placed trays of tea, cakes and dumplings before them, to no avail. The "irregulars'" spokesman bought a white coffin with black stripes, threatened to bring it into the Assembly as a token of protest.

After 19 hours the...

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