BEIJING - A veteran Chinese activist has been charged with subversion, a human rights group said Saturday, after another dissident was jailed for nine years in a crackdown aimed at preventing Arab Spring-style democratic uprisings.

Chen Xi, 57, was arrested Nov. 29 and charged Friday in the southern province of Guizhou, the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said. The Hong Kong-based center said Chen, who left prison in 2005 after serving a 10-year sentence, was accused of writing 30 essays that incited subversion.

A man who answered the phone at Guiyang Intermediate People's Court said he had no information about the case.

On Friday, activist Chen Wei, 42, was sentenced to nine years, also on subversion charges.

Communist leaders launched a sweeping effort to crush dissent early this year in response to anonymous online calls urging Chinese to imitate protests that toppled governments in North Africa and the Middle East.

Human rights activists have criticized the ruling party's use of vague subversion laws to jail its critics. Authorities began using the subversion law against activists after repealing a widely criticized law on counterrevolutionary activities.

Chen Xi was active in the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests and was sentenced to three years in prison, the Information Center said. It said that in 1995 he was sent to prison for 10 years on charges of counterrevolutionary offenses.