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Chinese arrest civic-minded businessman

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BEIJING (KNOE 8 News/AP) - A Chinese businessman who has been a supporter of a grassroots group to promote civil society has been taken away by police, in a sign Beijing is stepping up its crackdown on the loosely organized movement.

Xiao Shu, a family friend, said police officers took away venture capitalist Wang Gongquan from his Beijing home Friday on a charge of gathering crowds to disturb public order.

It followed detentions of two leading members of the New Citizens movement - Xu Zhiyong and Yang Maodong. Group members have lobbied for rights of rural children and public disclosure of officials' assets. Beijing does not allow anything it sees as a challenge to Communist Party rule.

Wang is believed to be the first supporter, rather than active leader, of the group to be targeted.

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