Jonathan Watts in Beijing
Friday August 17, 2007
The Guardian (London)
China has ordered its media to report only positive news and imprisoned a pro-democracy dissident amid a clampdown on dissent ahead of the most important meeting of the Communist party in five years.
Media controls have been tightened, Aids activists detained and NGOs shut down as the president, Hu Jintao, prepares for the 17th party congress, when the next generation of national leaders will be unveiled in a politburo reshuffle.
Chen Shuqing – a founder member of the banned China Democracy party – suffered the toughest punishment meted out so far when he was found guilty yesterday of “inciting people to overthrow the government.”