Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The (Pathetic) Media Spin Continues

It's interesting watching how the Chinese government is spinning the Ai Weiwei detainment. Yesterday Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei again gave few details of where the 53-year-old was being held and what exactly he was being accused of.
"Public security authorities are conducting investigations on the Ai Weiwei issue. I have no new information to share," he said. "No one is entitled to sit above the law. Anyone who breaks the law will definitely be brought to justice. No matter what reputation one might have in the past, once he breaks the law, he will have to face legal punishment," Hong said.
That's fine, we all agree with that people should face punishment if they have broken the law, but the Chinese government is illegally detaining him in order to find if he has broken the law!
Then to cap it off, Hong has to add the "hurting the feelings of 1.3 billion Chinese people" excuse. "The Chinese people also feel confused: why is that some people in some countries consider a Chinese suspected criminal as a hero? The Chinese people are unhappy about this."

The truth is, not many members of the general public know who Ai Weiwei is -- he's one of these people who is better known in foreign circles mostly because of his art, but also because he speaks good English due to his time in New York.
Meanwhile the Chinese media's campaign to discredit Ai by saying he plagiarized someone else's art has backfired.
Earlier in the week a Xinhua article claimed Yue Luping, an art professor with the Academy of Fine Arts of Xian in Shaanxi province accused Ai for stealing Yue's creative idea.
But yesterday Yue said those accusations were taken completely out of context.
"I have never said it was plagiarism," Yue said. "I only said it was 'similar' or 'a clash'." 
He was referring to Fairytale, where Ai flew 1,001 ordinary Chinese to the German city of Kassel as "living exhibits" in an art show in 2007.
Yue said he felt he was being used.
"I felt like I was playing a role in their play. I didn't want to be a part of it. Xinhua didn't contact me to verify my remark and I felt I had to clarify. It was reckless to publish it without checking with me, which I think has harmed Xinhua's credibility."

Ouch. A big black mark against Xinhua and its quest for media expansion to tell the world the "truth" about China.

Another development in the Ai case is that his staff say he was offered membership to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference before his arrest. It is not clear if it was provincial or national or what Ai's thoughts on it were.

Perhaps it was the government's attempt to bring Ai into the fold in the hopes of toning down or silencing his criticisms if he was one of them.

One can infer that someone didn't like Ai's answer...


  1. Pathetic, absolutely pathetic. "We'll kill the Chinese people, run them over with tanks if we have to, when they step out of line, but for the record, we don''t want to hurt their feelings. This kind of stuff must make even the Russians laugh." This crap must have been conceived by the same moron who said let's give a five year old girl an invented peace prize.

    The Hunk

  2. Check out Peking Duck's take on GT and Ai Weiwei