A maverick dares to challenge the Party line – Jonathan Mirsky
For China’s Communist Party, there are two first-degree thought crimes here. First, Mao’s huge portrait still looms over Tiananmen Square and China’s current leaders claim to be his heirs. Second, Beijing regularly condemns Japanese prime ministers for visiting the Yasukuni Shrine to venerate dead soldiers, including those hanged as World War II criminals. Anti-Japanese demonstrations in Chinese cities are encouraged by the government; any other public protest risks prompt and violent suppression. Yu Jie, therefore, stepped deliberately into China’s most dangerous political minefield.