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The Big Story

What China's economic miracle left behind

How human rights fell by the wayside as the economy boomed

KENJI KAWASE, Nikkei Asian Review chief business news correspondent | China

HONG KONG -- In his 10,000-word essay decrying China's increasing authoritarianism, Xu Zhangrun studiously avoided mentioning President Xi Jinping by name. But his readers -- and China's censors -- did not need it spelled out for them.

"After 40 years of reform and opening up, I never thought I would witness the re-emergence of a cult of personality of our leader in the divine land of China," wrote Xu, a law professor at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University.

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