China: Let a Hundred Flowers Wilt

After allowing stirrings of protest, the government turns tough

The charges ring disturbingly of the past: "Brazenly opposing the party's leadership, deviating from the orbit of socialism, desiring and envying the decadent, bourgeois way of life in the West." These and similar superheated phrases appearing in the Chinese press these days recall the years when the late Mao Tse-tung carried out his frenzied and reckless campaigns for ideological purity in China. Though the more moderate post-Mao leadership in Peking had repeatedly promised not to resume such repression, the official press has recently bristled with attacks on people who are said to...

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