World: More Violent than Imagined

Getting hard news out of Red China is tougher than pulling dragons' teeth. Since Hong Kong's China-watchers must normally settle for secondary sources—newspapers, radio, returning visitors—they tend to keep their conclusions conservative. In recent weeks, however, the China-watchers have had some evidence that the disorders sweeping many parts of China have probably been worse than anyone outside China imagined.

One main indication of this has been the grisly flotsam of bodies floating down the flood-swollen Pearl River to Hong Kong and Macao (TIME, July 5). The number by last week had reached 66, most of them tied and mangled. Last week the...

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