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China Arrests Top Xi Critic, Plans Crackdown on Political Foes

  • Law professor published book criticizing Xi, Communist Party
  • Party unit to prioritize ‘safeguarding the regime’s security’
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Photographer: Natalie Behring/Bloomberg
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Beijing police arrested an outspoken critic of Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday morning as his administration took steps to crack down on potential threats to the Communist Party stemming from the economic fallout of the pandemic.

Xu Zhangrun, a law professor at Tsinghua University, was taken away by police from his house at a Beijing suburb, according to his friend, Geng Xiaonan, who said she got the information from his domestic helper, his wife and students. She said she believed Xu’s arrest was linked to a book he published in New York last month, a collection of ten political essays with scathing criticisms of Xi and the Communist Party’s rule.