Friday, April 15, 2011

Ai Weiwei and the “Age of Madness”

By Lionel M. Jensen, History News Network, April 11, 2011

Lionel M. Jensen is Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures and concurrently Associate Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

It only took a little over four days after Ai Weiwei’s sudden apprehension by China’s Public Security Bureau at the Beijing Airport, for the government to initiate, as is its tireless and terrifying custom, the public process of building a “case” against the disappeared by alluding to the subject’s “crimes.”

Owing to comments made last Wednesday and Thursday in three of the Chinese Communist Party’s growing number of online and print “news” sources, China and the world now know that Ai’s actions were, according to Renmin ribao (“People’s Daily”) and the Global Times, legally “ambiguous” and too near “the red line of Chinese law.”  The Global Times also reported that the departure papers for his flight to Hong Kong were “incomplete,” thus he could not board the plane.

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