Radical thoughts annoy Beijing

CHINA’S Communist Party leaders have turned their sights on students with “radical thoughts” after locking up a key critic, Liu Xianbin, for 10 years.

Peking University, China’s top tertiary institution, is planning to screen all its students for a range of problems including “radical thoughts”, a move that has triggered concerns that a lack of free thinking will stifle students.

The screening covers academic difficulties, radical thoughts, psychological fragility, poverty, registration changes, eccentricity, internet addiction, job difficulties, serious illnesses and discipline violations, according to China Daily.

Students seen as having any of these problems will get a “consultation during which they may be persuaded to change”.

The planned move has already been piloted, and comes amid the most widespread crackdown on activists and human rights agitators for decades.

Two high-profile lawyers – Teng Biao and Jiang Titian – have been missing since they were picked up by authorities more than four weeks ago.

Mr Liu was sentenced to 10 years in jail for subversion last Friday.

He had written several articles in 2009 calling for a non-violent struggle for democratic reform and recounted his time in prison after the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

He was jailed in 1991 and served another nine years in prison from 1999-2008.

Under China’s legal rules, he was not allowed to make a statement in court over his most recent conviction and has not been permitted access to his lawyer to discuss an appeal.

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