In Brief: Ai Weiwei Denied His Day in Court, Legal Advisor Disappeared

In news so depressingly predictable that it’s almost not worth writing about, Ai Weiwei’s legal advisor Liu Xiaoyuan is apparently being held by State Security after being summoned for a meeting at 8:30 PM last night. Although Ai Weiwei’s Fake Studio tax appeal case opens in court today, Liu Xiaoyuan has not yet returned, and his phone is turned off. Ai has also been informed by police that he is not allowed in court.

Honestly, I am running out of things to say when this sort of thing happens. It’s a move as obvious as it is depressing, and it’s indication number 9,343,245 that however fast China’s economy is developing, the real rule of law is still a terribly long way off. One wonders how government spokesmen manage to choke out the words, “China is a nation with the rule of law,” even as this sort of “justice” is being served.

I also wonder what, exactly, Beijing is doing here. They clearly have no intention of giving Ai his day in court, and they can’t possibly think that anyone outside China will consider whatever verdict they reach fair when Ai’s principal lawyer was essentially kidnapped the night before his court date. So why not just arrest him and be done with it? Or hand him a summons informing him the court has found him guilty of tax evasion in absentia or something. I understand someone probably feels the government needs to make a show of doing this the right way, but security forces obviously don’t agree.

If you’re going to put on a dog-and-pony show to try to fool people into believing China has the rule of law, it’s best to at least allow the occasional dog or pony into the building, isn’t it?

10 thoughts on “In Brief: Ai Weiwei Denied His Day in Court, Legal Advisor Disappeared”

  1. Pingback: Hao Hao Report
  2. Yes, it is really bizarre on many levels. The Chinese govt is desperately tying to foster and project an image of China of a powerful and mature nation to be admired but when they do this stuff (and it happens all the time) it just makes themselves look like absolute morons. It is just childishly petty, stupid and ultimately, self defeating. It makes my head hurt, I dont understand what they are thinking.


  3. The Chinese Government/Security Apparatus repeats the mistakes that ultimately brought down the communist regimes in Eastern Europe (many will wrongly suggest it was economics or international pressure pshaw – I was there).

    It fails to engage with those who wish to work within the system and with the system to correct illegal and clearly and obviously wrong actions, to improve the system within the bounds set by it and instead persecutes those who do attempt such work.

    When a people are left no recourse within the system, they will go outside the system, creating what Marxist-Leninist Theory calls “A revolutionary situation”.

    I wonder if the current Communist Party is prepared to handle such a situation? This time it will not be students playing “Occupy Tiananmen Square” and they had a bad enough time dealing with that one…

    Well, as others remarked, par for the course, sadly…

    One can only wish the PSB will invite Yang Rui for a lengthy and detailed chat, long shot, but hope springs eternal…

    Meanwhile, Pass the Courvoisier. I have to anesthetize this pain… It will pass eventually, one way or the other.


  4. It’s not even funny now. I mean, why bother even giving him an appeal if they weren’t going to let him put a case forward? Do they REALLY think this will con anyone bar those that always think the CCP is great and wouldn’t have cared if he had been refused an appeal?


  5. To ffm,
    it’s “obsessive compulsive”, if you feel you must make reference to the condition. Also interesting that you associate this apparent fixation with “horny western men”. Methinks you have some serious unresolved issues that could likely benefit from professional help.

    The relevance of Ai Wei Wei’s travails in court really have nothing to do with Ai Wei Wei himself, as much as it is a reflection of the laughable state of the Chinese “justice system” as a whole under the CCP.


  6. Thing is, AWW may well be guilty – I mean, most well-off people are fiddling their taxes to an extent: consider that Tiger Woods was Shenzhen’s biggest income tax payer in ~2006 but only played there 1-2 days in that year. However, the way this went down (kidnap, shady deal, etc) guarantees that no credible verdict can come from this process.


  7. Foarp, I don’t think that any individual case, once it has been deemed “political”, will get a single day in court that may be trustworthy. AWW is an exceptionally prominent case, but remember that the party has a cell in every court at every level. That means that when you are a “political” defendant, the judge isn’t the judge, and not even the prosecution, but your adversary.


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