First, thousands of citizens of all backgrounds – peasants, teenage netizens, prominent lawyers, former party members – have added their names to the petition, not just the usual gadflies. They reflect a minority unwilling to accept the party's vision for China.
Second, the Internet has vastly expanded the charter's reach, with no central organization. That makes it a new kind of threat to a government concerned about organized challenges to its rule.
Zhang says more than 300,000 websites now link to the charter...
We'll keep an eye on this.