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Chinese Warning May Signal Purges

CHINA issued a sharp warning on dissent yesterday, likening opponents of communism to wounded wolves who would be shown no mercy in what it said was an inexorable march toward socialism's victory. Foreign diplomats said that a hard-line editorial on the front page of the People's Daily was a renewed call for purges of Communist Party opponents ahead of the Asian Games starting here next month.

The newspaper said that authorities would not repeat the folly of a certain Mr. Dongguo who, a Chinese parable relates, nursed a wounded wolf back to health only to end up being mauled by the beast. ``We will show no mercy to those who stubbornly adhere to bourgeois liberalization and those who wholeheartedly oppose the party,'' the newspaper editorial said.

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China is determined that the Asian Games not be marred by shows of political opposition such as seen here last summer before troops crushed pro-democracy demonstrations with heavy loss of life. The games will be China's first international showcase event, one that it hopes will erase memories of last year and woo back foreign investors who have shied away since last summer.

Diplomats said the editorial signaled a continuation of political purges, which have this year hit most government organizations, the Army, the media, and security forces.

The purges have meant political dissenters have been demoted, fired or posted to remote parts of China.

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