CHINA: Parody in Peking

In a beautiful setting provided by history, the rulers of Red China last week played a parody of democracy. The occasion: the First National People's Congress, convened to "ratify" a 106-article constitution for Red China and then "elect" a chairman and vice chairman. From all over vast Communist China's 25 provinces, from far-off Tibet and Inner Mongolia, came 1,141 delegates, striding up steps of gleaming marble, past newly painted red pillars and into Peking's ancient Cherish Benevolence Hall.

"A great achievement in the further democratization of China's political life," the Peking People's...

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