China Arrests Prominent Dissident

In a direct rebuke to the United States, China’s most prominent dissident, Wei Jingsheng, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of trying to overthrow the government, a crime that carries the death penalty.

The charge, announced by the official New China news agency, came only weeks after the pro-democracy activist had been named a leading candidate for the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize, which shocked Chinese authorities.

In a short statement, the news agency said Wei had been arrested Tuesday.

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