New breed of fixers in Chinese struggle for rights – Richard McGregor
After a meeting with farmers disgruntled over the confiscation of their land in a small village near Beijing, the middleman who engineered the encounter asked if the journalists were satisfied with their interview.
If not, he had other stories to offer. “How about underground churches? Or there’s been some big fighting with the Hui [Muslim] people out west in Ningxia. We can catch a plane there tomorrow!” he said.
In the rights movement that is sweeping China, people like Mr Wang (not his real name) represent a new phenomenon: a breed of political entrepreneurs eking out a living by helping angry citizens to get attention for their causes.