This Verdict May Haunt Beijing

The trial of China's most prominent dissident, Wei Jingsheng, 45, was supposed to be open to the foreign press. But in the end, reporters were barred from witnessing the precooked verdict: 14 years' imprisonment plus three years' deprivation of political rights for "conspiring to subvert the government." This surely is a stiff penalty for Wei. But it may be a big blow to China's relations with the outside world as well.

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