17 Nov '11, 3am

Ai Weiwei turns tables on China's Communist regime

Ai Weiwei turns tables on China's Communist regime

BEIJING: Artist and fierce government critic Ai Weiwei has turned the tables on China's Communist regime by transforming a crippling tax fine he says is designed to silence him into a huge wave of solidarity. The painter, sculptor, architect and activist was a thorn in the side of the government even before he managed to pay a 8.5 million yuan ($1.3 million) bond thanks to money raised by some 30,000 Chinese people in record speed. The burly artist disappeared into police custody for 81 days earlier this year. He was released in June, but on November 1 was ordered to pay 15 million yuan in back taxes levied against a company he set up. Days later, a spontaneous online movement to help Ai began. Supporters sent him money orders, cheques, Internet transfers, and even rolled bank notes into balls and threw them over the walls of his Beijing studio. Visitors flocked there -- s...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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