Interesting. Please click on the Global Times link （also at the bottom）, read the article and then click on the “Related” links under the article. These other stories add a lot of perspective, through earlier and mostly positive Global Times coverage of Ai Weiwei’s various projects and activities. I remember seeing Lian Chan 連戰 on TV in Taiwan in the 1980s*. He was prime minister then, I think. Kept saying “Yi fa bali! 依法辦理”. To be handled according to law. Everything should be handled according to law. This was already after martial law 戒嚴 was lifted 解嚴 in 1987. But many opposition figures and activists were still in prison (they had a prison island, “Green Island” 綠島, for example) or barred from returning to Taiwan. Martial law had been lifted, but many laws from the One-Party-rule were still on the books, and actually still enforced (See the poem “After Martial Law Was Lifted – In Commemoration of Lifting Martial Law in Taiwan on July 15th, 1987” by Li Qin’an [李勤岸 – 解嚴以後 – 一九八七年七月十五日臺灣解嚴紀念] http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/dujuan99nihon/30163376.html). Now which law is the Global Times article referring to? Let US bake our cake of social progress and eat it at the same time, and have it OUR way, and let nobody in the world talk too much about it, because this is the LAW. Right?
Very interesting how they keep on contradicting themselves. “Was said to have been detained”. Was he, or was he not? Maybe just kidnapped? “It was reported his departure procedures were incomplete.” Interesting. So which law will not concede before Ai Weiwei? Which departure procedures law? No, it’s THE LAW. Shoot first, deflect questions later.* Happens in every society.
Global Times (4/6/11):
Law will not concede before maverick
法律不会为特立独行者弯曲_评论_环球网: http://bit.ly/hwH7G4, most discussed on @dujuan99/china (http://bit.ly/evC5Ka) See also China Geeks (4/8/11).
Geremie Barme on Ai Qing and Ai Weiwei
Nude photos and other incriminating activities of Ai Weiwei
It’s really very simple, and even seems a bit tedious when you think about it. Yet I go on watching these shows. What else would you have me look at, dear readers?
Who is afraid of Ai Weiwei？(Language Log)
貝嶺：裸體公民艾未未 (China Times, also in Ming Pao)
Photo by Katharina Hesse
There are many relations of this case to other arrests like the one on April 8 of Zhao Lianhai 趙連海, speaker for parents whose children had been poisoned by tainted milk.
Zhao had been released on parole after beeing imprisoned for “disturbing the peace”. But on April 6, he uplaoded a moving video, holding his child and trying to make a public statement at home.
*This blog entry started out as a post on the MCLC email listserv. A lively discussion ensued. Andrew Field pointed out that Lu Xun 魯迅 and many other modern writers were banned in Taiwan under martial law. James Dew, Tim Wong, Kirk Denton, Christopher Lupke and others remembered how foreign students read these writers in a special room at Taiwan University, and how Chen Yingzhen 陳映真 connected to Lu Xun and the May Fourth tradition. Chen was imprisoned for “pro-communist activities”. Tai Jingnong 台静农 (1903～1990), a well-known writer and painter in Taiwan, was originally a student of Lu Xun.
* Jerome Cohen uses a similar expression in the South China Morning Post (4/27/11): “Second, it also seems clear that, whatever the evidence being assembled about tax evasion or other charges, this was not the motivation for Ai’s detention. This case started out on a ‘detain first and look for justification later’ basis.”
Chinese rock music related to Ai Weiwei: http://www.zuoxiaozuzhou.com/, via Jeroen Groenewegen