China From Out of the Depths

A leading dissident emerges briefly to recount how to survive -- and organize -- amid repression

In the ten months since the Tiananmen crackdown, competing antigovernment groups have multiplied and even thrived beyond the borders of China, where some exiles have adopted the trappings of Western celebrity activism. In China itself, however, organized resistance was believed to be almost nonexistent -- until this month.

TIME has learned that three weeks ago, Zhai Weimin, the sixth most wanted individual on Beijing's list of "counterrevolutionaries," emerged briefly from hiding to make some startling claims: a core of activists had not only eluded the dragnet but, last February, had formed a nationwide underground movement, electing officers and holding their first...

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