China's leaders launch smokeless war against internet and media dissent

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China announced a fresh crackdown yesterday on the internet amid further revelations of a plan by Hu Jintao, the president, to suppress dissent.

"The state bans the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest," said a statement from Xinhua, the official news agency. The announcement called for blogs and personal web pages to "be directed towards serving the people and socialism and insist on correct guidance of public opinion for maintaining national and public interests".

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