Ai Weiwei Finally Harmonized

As you may have already seen elsewhere, Ai Weiweis blog has been closed. Well, the one hosted on Sina, anyway. His bullogger blog is still up, but it doesn’t contain some of the most recent posts everyone else is translating.

As previously mentioned, Danwei and the China Digital Times have done the translation legwork here, we’d recommend reading both of their translations if you’re interested. (And you really, really should be interested.) A preview from the CDT translation, written by Ai himself, brazenly addressing the agents who came to find him and have a “chat”:

Reject cynicism, reject cooperation, reject threats, reject “drinking tea“. In regards to these questions, there is nothing to discuss. Here’s a few words: Don’t come again to find me, I will not cooperate. If you must come, then bring your instrument of punishment.

Strong stuff, indeed. TIME’s China blog writes,

So far, the score seems to be: Ai 1-Huge State Security Machine 0, although if his blogs stay shut hat could tie things up. Further down the road it’s hard to see the Ai holding his own but you never know. People like him can be game changers.

The problem is, even if the score right now is 1-0, Huge State Security Machine is pretty much undefeated in the last half century. (Also, some people might suggest that offhanded sports metaphors might be a little causal for describing a situation where a man’s life hangs in the balance…)

0 thoughts on “Ai Weiwei Finally Harmonized”

  1. how did you get around being harmonized since you have been translating all the essaies ai wei wei has been writing ?


  2. Honestly, I’m not sure, except that they tend to find sites to block using filters that search for Chinese characters rather than English words. You’ll note we rarely use characters on this site, and that’s the reason why. My old blog met an early demise because I was writing about Charter ’08 and putting its Chinese name in parenthesis, so now I don’t do that anymore.

    Still, I am a bit surprised we’ve lasted this long. Guess we don’t rate high enough to block yet.


  3. Trust me. The authorities know about this blog already.

    I think it’s because it’s an English blog only those who have already had some influence of the values of democracy and whatever by learning English can understand. Ordinary daye and dama, day laborers, even whitecollars busy with their work will never know you existed. 99% of China’s vast online majority will never choose to go and find an expat blog, simply because it’s in ENGLISH. Many of them do speak the language to various degrees, but actively seeking such blogs with a keen interest is another story.

    This means this blog doesn’t even register on the officials’ radar. There’s a lot of expat blogs, many of which are way more acerbic than this one, and they’re fine.

    Don’t let the paranoia get you. The government knows about this blog I’m sure, but I’m equally sure they have better things to do.


  4. @ wooddoo: There are some English China blogs that are GFWed, though. Rebecca MacKinnon’s RConversation and the China Digital Times itself spring to mind (although the CDT posts original source text in Chinese as well as translating it, which probably doomed them). And, as I said, my old China blog also was blocked although it, too, was in English.


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