“China Detains 3 Who Criticized Government,” by Joseoph Kahn, New York Times, 14 December 2004, Online at http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/14/international/asia/14china.html. (Linked to on the Drudge Report)
China is modernizing country. It has gone a long way since Mao. Its economy is very free and the people are connecting themselves to the Internet. Recently, China launched very high powered cell phone transmissions into North Korea, allowing dissidents to make cheap and hard-to-trace phone calls to the outside world and one another. And then you hear about something like this:
BEIJING, Dec. 13 – The Chinese police on Monday afternoon detained three leading intellectuals who have been critical of the government, apparently stepping up a campaign to silence public dissent.
Yu Jie and Liu Xiaobo, literary figures, and Zhang Zuhua, a political theorist, were detained in raids at their homes, relatives and friends said. Mr. Yu’s relatives were handed a warrant that said he was suspected of “participating in activities harmful to the state,” said his wife, Liu Min.
The detentions were the latest in a string of arrests and official harassment of journalists, writers and scholars who have spoken out against government policies or written articles or essays that officials have deemed damaging.
Since President Hu Jintao replaced Jiang Zemin as China’s military chief in September, leaving Mr. Hu in full command of China’s government, ruling party and army, analysts say the political environment has become more repressive. The scope for discussing sensitive topics in the state-run media has decreased, they said, while the authorities appear intent on punishing people who violate unwritten rules about the limits on free speech.
China is still a one-party dictatorship. China bans independent churches of all types. China has onerous censorship laws.
The Middle Kingdom has come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. The only long term solution is to keep increasing the Chinese people’s economic liberty and connectedness, and wait out the old regime.