Liberal think tank is latest to be silenced in China

Authorities in China have shuttered the website and social media accounts of a prominent economics think tank amid a mounting assault on liberal academic voices.

The Unirule Institute of Economics in Beijing has become the latest target of the crackdown after the forced retirement of a professor who criticized Mao Zedong and sacking of a provincial official who called communist China's founder the "devil."

Mao Yushi, Unirule's founder who is not related to Mao Zedong, said Wednesday that ruling Communist Party officials informed him last week that the website was shut down because it violated the law, but gave no details.

Unirule and Mao Yushi are particularly reviled by China's increasingly vocal "leftists" who see their support of free-market economics as antithetical to Mao Zedong's legacy and Communist Party ideology.