Ai Weiwei, probably China’s most famous anti-regime artist, has been facing to blast after blast from the establishment. The list of the most recent round of his critics almost reads like a Who’s-Who in the Mainland Media. They include Hu Xijin, editor of the state-run Global Times; Wang Wen, a reporter for that paper; Wu Fatian, a law professor, and famous Blogger Si Manan.
But they should have known better than to mess with the resourceful Ai. He promptly cranked up his Twitter account and furiously posted the cell phone numbers of his four attackers. They cried foul, of course. “No doubt posting my mobile number is one of his ways of expressing his political mood,” huffed editor Hun. “But I don’t think this is a good method. As a celebrity, his behavior has an impact on morale. He should tread carefully.”
But Ai, the writer, got the last word: “They try to convince young people that I am in some kind of conspiracy with the West. But they never questioned why police detained me without legal process.”
And, from the Western perspective at least, that is indeed the question about China that keeps coming up.
(By Trevor Gee, Asia Media staff writer)