China is clamping down on social media as it grapples with a crisis over the escape of a high-profile dissident, apparently to U.S. protection. The case presents new difficulties for a Chinese leadership already struggling to deal with the scandalous downfall of a powerful politician, and it complicates U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Beijing this week.
Yet China's use of social media in dealing with these two recent crises has been a study in contrasts.
The rising tide laps at the feet of local children and fishermen and submerges all but the tops of the mangrove trees of Tiwoho village in Indonesia's North Sulawesi province. At one degree of latitude north of the equator, the climate here is about the same all year round: hot, wet and perfect for the forests of salt-tolerant trees that grow along sheltered coastlines.
A senior U.S. official, Kurt Campbell, has arrived on an unscheduled trip to Beijing, apparently to negotiate over Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, believed to be under U.S. protection. The fate of the activist puts both China and the U.S. in a tricky diplomatic bind, with no easy answers.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
It's been more than a day now since news broke of a blind Chinese dissident's dramatic escape from house arrest. It's now thought that Chen Guangcheng secretly traveled 300 miles to the capital, Beijing, and is being sheltered on the grounds of the U.S. embassy there.
NPR's Beijing bureau chief is Louisa Lim, and she joins me now from there. Louisa, first off, is it clear that he is actually on embassy grounds?