Wed, Dec 07, 2011 - Page 17 News List

Ai Weiwei turns tables on China’s Communist regime
艾未未讓中國共黨政權吃憋

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei closes the door to his studio on his way to the government tax office in Beijing on Nov. 16.
艾未未十一月十六日在北京關上其工作室大門,前往政府國稅局。

Photo: Reuters
照片:路透

Artist and fierce government critic Ai Weiwei has turned the tables on China’s Communist regime by transforming a crippling tax fine he says is designed to silence him into a huge wave of solidarity.

The painter, sculptor, architect and activist was a thorn in the side of the government even before he managed to pay a 8.5 million yuan (NT$40.5 million) bond thanks to money raised by some 30,000 Chinese people in record speed.

The artist disappeared into police custody for 81 days earlier this year. He was released in June, but on Nov. 1 was ordered to pay 15 million yuan (NT$71.5 million) in back taxes levied against a company he set up.

Days later, a spontaneous online movement to help Ai began. Supporters sent him money orders, checks, Internet transfers, and even rolled bank notes into balls and threw them over the walls of his Beijing studio.

Renaud de Spens, a Beijing-based Internet expert, said the outcome was a “huge kick in the teeth” for the government. “The regime tried to scare him, but it was not a good strategy,” he said.

(AFP)

中國藝術家與政府的猛烈批評者艾未未最近讓中國共黨政權吃憋,因為艾未未把被他稱為企圖讓他消音的政府鉅額逃稅罰金,變成了一股強大的團結浪潮。

即使在他尚未透過三萬名中國民眾在創紀錄的極短時間內募得高達人民幣八百五十萬元(新台幣四千零五十萬元)的保證金之前,身兼畫家、雕塑家、建築師與運動人士多重身份的艾未未就一直被中國政府視為眼中釘。

這位藝術家今年稍早曾遭警方拘留,有八十一天音訊全無。他後來在六月獲釋,但十一月一日又被要求繳交他所開設公司積欠的人民幣一千五百萬元(新台幣七千一百五十萬元)逃漏稅金。

數天後,網路上自動自發地出現一場幫助艾未未的運動。支持者寄給他匯票、支票、或透過網路轉帳,甚至把鈔票捲成小球,直接朝他位在北京工作室的牆裡丟。

住在北京的網路專家何諾表示,這種結果對當局而言是「料想不到的重大挫敗」。他說,「中國政權企圖嚇唬他,但這並不是個好策略。」

(法新社)

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. turn the tables

v. phr.

翻盤;扭轉局勢 (fan1 pan2; niu2 zhuan3 ju2 shi4)

例: She turned the tables on her rival with allegations of corruption.

(她靠著指控對手貪汙扭轉了局勢。)

2. regime

n.

政權 (zheng4 quan2)

例: The Chinese government is an authoritarian regime.

(中國政府是個獨裁政權。)

3. a thorn in someone’s side

n. phr.

眼中釘 (yan3 zhong1 ding1)

例: Health inspectors are a thorn in the side of most restaurants.

(大多數餐廳都把衛生督察員視為眼中釘。)


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