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China's Neoconservative Argues Against Change

CHINESE critics brand him a ``chameleon,'' a political opportunist, and a ``running dog'' of senior leader Deng Xiaoping. University students burned his books during protests for democracy last spring. And an anonymous group of ``intellectuals for eliminating traitors'' threatened in a letter to kill him.

But He Xin, a social commentator and defender of China's hard-line regime, exudes a feeling of triumph.

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``I warned the Chinese people that radical change would lead to chaos,'' said Mr. He, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). ``Now, the mainstream is for stability. I have succeeded.''

An ambitious man, He epitomizes a traditional breed of Chinese intellectuals who advise rulers and in turn benefit from in proximity to the seat of power.