China One Year Later

The leadership stifles dissent as it tries to put the best face on an unpopular regime

Beijing is increasingly a city of false facades. Each day picturesque walls made of stucco and tile are erected around deteriorating residential neighborhoods to hide them from visitors who will attend the 1990 Asian Games in the Chinese capital this September. No less deceptive is the charade that is performed each night at major intersections throughout the city. Disguised as policemen, combat-ready army officers man security checkpoints that were allegedly dismantled when martial law was lifted in January. Says a dissident intellectual: "Stability is only an illusion."

One year after the bloody crackdown that silenced China's nascent democracy movement, a divided...

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