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Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Blasts ‘inhuman’ Communist Regime and Says Internet Would Bring it Down

Posted by Author on November 7, 2010

By Marianne Barriaux (AFP), Nov. 7, 2010 –

BEIJING — Chinese artist Ai Weiwei branded the nation’s government “inhuman” on Sunday and said the Internet would bring the current Communist regime to an end, as he remained under house arrest in Beijing.

Ai, one of China’s most famous artists who currently has an exhibition at London’s Tate Modern, says he has been confined to his home to stop him from attending a gathering at his new Shanghai studio which is due to be demolished.
“This society is not efficient, it’s inhuman in many ways politically,” the 53-year-old, also a well-known social critic in China, told AFP.

“The government, the whole system… sacrifices education, environmental resources and most people’s interests just to make a few people become extremely rich only because they are associated with the government.

“This cannot last too long…. This society basically has no creativity. It’s just cheap labour and very police-controlled. How long can that last?” he said over the phone.

Ai’s house arrest, due to last until midnight on Sunday, comes amid a widespread crackdown on dissidents, lawyers and professors after jailed writer Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last month.

While he is not allowed to leave his home, others, including reporters, have been able to visit him. Beijing police were unavailable for comment Sunday.

Ai, who updates his Twitter account regularly, said the Internet was a powerful force for change that was enabling more and more people to find out what was happening in China.

“The Internet is the best gift to China — this kind of technology will end this kind of dictatorship.”

Before his house arrest, the artist had planned a feast for supporters at his Shanghai studio on Sunday as an ironic celebration of a decision by authorities to demolish the building — despite having originally asked him to build it.

He said the order came after he became increasingly critical of Shanghai’s policies, writing for example about activist Feng Zhenghu, who for months was blocked from returning home from Japan.

“That must have really irritated someone at a very high level,” he said.

Ai said that despite being unable to attend the party himself, supporters had gone to the studio anyway on Sunday. People at the site said on Twitter that hundreds had shown up.

As an artist, one of Ai’s best-known works is his collaboration with Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuro on the National Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, an event he has since condemned as a “pretend smile”.

He has also taken on the role of social critic, for example investigating school collapses in China’s massive 2008 quake in the southwestern province of Sichuan, which many believe were triggered by shoddy construction work.

At last year’s trial in Sichuan of activist Tan Zuoren, who also probed the collapses and was later handed a five-year jail term, Ai said he was detained and beaten by police who blocked him from testifying on Tan’s behalf.

He subsequently underwent surgery in Germany to relieve pressure on his brain from a blood clot which he said was the result of the beating.

Ai said Sunday he was resigned to the potential danger of speaking out.

“What am I going to do? I only have one choice — leave China — which I don’t want to do. This is my land here,” he said.

“If everybody can speak up a little bit, then I won’t be in danger. But I still have to show others how they should act.”


One Response to “Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Blasts ‘inhuman’ Communist Regime and Says Internet Would Bring it Down”

  1. David Taylor said

    It is just amazing that the hooligans and gangsters running the communist party cannot see that the whole world views them as inhuman barbarians who do not deserve one kind word from anyone on the face of the planet. They damage the image of their country more and more each day. They play with the world as if it is their toy.Gao Zhisheng is a prime example as are Mr. Awi and Li Xiabou along with many others whose names are rapidly becoming household names across the world because of the way that they have been treated by the communists. Mr. Awi is under house arrest, Mr.Li, the Nobel Peace Prize winner is in prison, and Mr. Gao was released after more than a year of brutal torture only to be “disappeared” again. He was released only as a result of mounting international outcry in order to quiet the outcry and then snatched up again not to be heard from since. Do these irresponsible gangsters not realize the taint they have thrown upon their own image? They don’t care because they know that as long as they can stay in power the more they can steal to line their own pockets.

    Money and power are the only things these morons understand except “saving face.” They mistakenly believe that they can buy the world. They did not learn the lessons they should have decades ago. They have set their country back to the times of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. Diplomatic approaches to these Neanderthals is wasteful of time and energy.

    I do not know if Wen Jiabo is sincere or if this is another of their attempts at rouse of which they have become so noted, but if they want to save face they need to get real right now. The world is tired of it and soon will make clear that it will have no more of it. China has played its last hole card and, in my judgement, has a choice of either getting with it or going without it. Lets hope it gets with it, because the Chinese people are a great and gracious people who deserve so much better. The world wishes to welcome China as the next superpower only if it proves that it values human dignity and it has a ways to go even if it starts right now.

    Don’t miss the boat China–these boats move slowly and it may be many decades before the next one comes along for you. Rest assured, however, that this boat is going to pick up someone. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

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