Chinese Intellectuals Under Fire Again

Public intellectual debate has been on the rise in China in the past few years as the economy opened up. But the new openness may be closing up quickly. “A scathing commentary on the list, published last month by a Shanghai newspaper and republished by the party’s main mouthpiece, People’s Daily, said that promoting the idea of “public intellectuals” was really aimed at “driving a wedge between intellectuals and the party.” The window for free debate that opened a crack over the past couple of years, as China’s leadership shifted to the “fourth generation” of leaders, is closing again.”