CHINA: Silence in the Hall

For two days last week hundreds of buses and cars jammed Tienanmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) Square as they brought thousands of participants to what was clearly an important conference at Peking's multi-pillared Great Hall of the People. Each day, as the meetings continued, curious foreigners and Peking citizens gathered outside, kept well away from the hall by soldiers and security police. China's carefully controlled press, which usually banners national meetings of such size, gave no clue to what was going on. A Foreign Ministry spokesman was equally unhelpful: "I'm afraid we...

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