South China Morning Post
THE SEVERE punishment of prominent dissident Xu Wenli will incur a cost. The trial has aroused international attention because we not only care about the fate of the dissidents, we also care whether Peking can fulfil the promise of the UN human rights treaties. Now the dissidents are in jail and Peking has failed to fulfil the promise. The new open and enlightened image she has just built up will be affected. In the long term, this is a high cost.
Ming Pao, China
CHINA HAS tried hard to build a more open-minded image, shown in its signing of a human rights treaty. Though mainland leaders today hold a more open attitude towards dissidents, they would choose to send them to jail in the case of their authority being challenged. In balancing the conservative force inside the Communist Party, Jiang Zemin has to be careful in order to avoid chaos. We believe the mainland will be able to catch up with Taiwan's democratic development and enhance prospects for unification if Peking can have a more open attitude towards the dissidents.
Sing Tao, China
CHINA WILL, as always, improve human rights and conduct co-operation with other countries to push forward the healthy development of universal human rights. Those who say that China's reform and opening-up policy will be "reversed" and accuse China of "retrogression in political reform", based on their view of the case of Xu Wenli and a few others, are ignorant of China's human rights situation.
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