China: August 4, 2001


China is apparently running a large scale, but generally low key, campaign against potential academic dissidents. Until recently, the only visible signs of this has been the arrest of US based Chinese researchers in China. But in the last few week, more and more Chinese who live or travel overseas have admitted that the debriefings they get from state security has increasingly included warnings about spreading "dangerous information" back home. There was always some pressure on foreign journalists to toe the party line, but now state security is starting to play rough. Recently two German journalists have been arrested in central China. Part of this is the paranoia typical of any dictatorship, but some of it is defensiveness on the part of corrupt officials. 


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