Not to beat a topic to topic into the ground, but I am once again dedicate a post to the notion of Chinese “voice suppression.” However, rather than this being a case in which a protest or gathering is broken up, a unique situation has arisen: a once beloved Chinese artist has now been arrested due to his growing political position which challenges the current communist government.
“Whether Ai Weiwei is right or wrong, this is still really big news, a really hot topic. I never thought, never thought, that the domestic media would actually lose the power of speech, and act both deaf and dumb. Sad, really sad.”
-Liu Xiaoyuan, Weiwei’s lawyer
Al Weiwei, one of China’s most famous artists, has been arrested on dissent charges. The Chinese government has been on a six week campaign to reign in public opposition to their operations, and Weiwei made no exception. His detainment is of the upmost interest for in 2008 he was one a trusted cultural ambassador for China when they hosted the Olympics. He even helped design the Bird Nest stadium that garnered so much praise during the event. Weiwei however boycotted the opening ceremonies to demonstrate his opposing views to China’s current political system. Since boycotting the games, his sentiment has only become more and more public, and in the wake of the recent uprisings in the Middle East, the Chinese government could tolerate Weiwei no more. When trying to board a flight on Sunday morning from Beijeng to Hong Kong, police took him. Similarly his apartment was searched and his wife also detained.He has not yet contacted his lawyer leading many to believe he is in some sort of odd legal scenario without boundaries.
As I have alluded to in previous posts, there is certainly something brewing in China in regards to human rights. Clearly the government understands this for they have made several blatant attempts, like arresting Weiwei, that show their desire to end the dissent. As more and more instances like these occur I become more inclined to believing that something big is going to happen in the near future. Although in my previous posts I noted I did not think that a major revolution could be around the corner, I am relaxing that opinion. I think the more public instances in which the government aggressively tries to combat opposition occur, the more likely we are to see uprisings. Weiwei has 70,000 followers on Twitter.
I’m sure they are not particularly thrilled he was just yanked off the streets because he wasn’t on the communist bandwagon.