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The real question, FlorCruz says, is why the government bothers to go through the formalities of a trial: "Some analysts see it as a concession to the hardliners who have complained that the government has been too "soft" toward dissidents like Wei. Others say that Beijing has decided that it could crack down on dissidents and get away with it, in spite of anticipated protests and diplomatic pressure from Western countries like the U.S. Still others view it as Beijing's attempt to publicly discredit Wei by depicting him, to the local and international audience, as a despicable criminal, to counter his image of a pro-democracy crusader and prisoner of conscience. Despite the ebbing of public support for China's pro-democracy movement overseas, there has been a constant clamor, especially in the West, for the release of dissidents like Wei."