The blind activist Chen Guangcheng was not an exceptional case in China--
Watching dissidents is a booming business in China - San Jose Mercury News: " . . . While China has long been a police state, controls on these non-offenders mark a new expansion of police resources at a time the authoritarian leadership is consumed with keeping its hold over a fast-changing society. . ."Social activists that no one has ever heard of have 10 people watching them," said Nicholas Bequelin, a researcher with Human Rights Watch. "The task is to identify and nip in the bud any destabilizing factors for the regime." Mostly unknown outside their communities, the activists are a growing portion of what's called the "targeted population"—a group that also includes criminal suspects and anyone deemed a threat. They are singled out for overwhelming surveillance and by one rights group's count amount to an estimated one in every 1,000 Chinese—or well over a million. Targeted are growing numbers of people, from typical political dissidents to labor organizers and, increasingly, ordinary Chinese who want Beijing to correct local wrongdoing. . . . "
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