Fear and swagger drive China's clampdown on dissent


  • World Premium
  • Friday, 08 Apr 2011

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has shifted its clampdown on dissent up a gear with the detention of a world-renowned artist, Ai Weiwei, revealing a government at once insecure about its grip on power and yet unruffled by Western criticism of its heavy-handed rule.

It is a paradoxical mix of anxiety and disdain that will define the country's politics as a leadership handover presses closer.

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