China: Trouble for the Man Upstairs

Trouble for the Man Upstairs

Despite his 75 years, Hu Qiaomu, the chief guardian of Maoist doctrine and a leading Communist Party theorist, climbed the four flights of stairs as if he relished the task. His destination: the Peking apartment of Playwright Wu Zuguang, 70, an outspoken critic of conservatism in the party and a strong advocate of free speech. Once inside, Hu recited a litany of Wu's ideological sins. The message was clear: leave the party or be expelled. Wu quit on the spot.

The incident was fresh evidence that China's seesaw struggle between doctrinaire Communist hard-liners and pragmatic reformists had taken yet another swing....