Two major setbacks to China's global image building

Activist Chen Guangcheng has escaped house arrest in China Photo: AP Photo/Supporters of Chen Guangcheng

In terms of its global image building the Chinese leadership is now having to fight on two fronts and deal with the two issues most damaging to claims of global responsibility.

Corruption in the Bo/Heywood case and Human Rights in the Chen Guangcheng case.

Chen has thrown himself at the mercy of Wen Jiabao in a move that increases the scrutiny on China's leaders and puts their handling of the twin crises under an international and domestic spotlight.

Clinton's expected visit next week gives events an added intensity.

The Internet is, for the first time, allowing people to give a running commentary on their leaders in a year when power will be reshuffled.

Despite censorship, every move they make is being tracked in a way that couldn't be ten years ago.

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