CHINA: Merchants & the New Order

Sound trucks twisted through business and mercantile districts in Communist China's biggest cities last week, stopped before shops and blared: "Hey, proprietor! Evidence of all your misdeeds is now in our hands. Confess!" Huge banners flapped over city streets: "Sternly punish corruption culprits." Panicky merchants, traders, bankers, businessmen cowered before Red inquisitors, fidgeted in police stations or waited for the police to come. Throughout most of the country, commerce limped toward a standstill.

The uneasy and unreal era of truce between China's merchants and its Communist government was at an end.

One More Enemy. The attack began quietly enough as a...

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