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Defending human rights deemed bigger political offense under Xi

More persecuted for 'endangering state security'

Hong Kong activists posted the names of human rights activists on the gate of Beijing's representative office in the territory during the demonstration on behalf of Liu Xiaobo on Christmas day last year. (Photo by Kenji Kawase)

HONG KONG -- China is growing less tolerant of basic human rights under the reign of President Xi Jinping. The Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders, or CHRD, warned that a crackdown on human rights activists is intensifying, with the government increasingly treating them like political dissidents.

In a report released Thursday, the nongovernmental organization said China has "moved further away from political openness and rule of law reform in 2016" as Xi tightened his grip on power.

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