News / Asia

Detained Chinese Artist 'Suspected of Tax Evasion'

Artist Ai Weiwei arrives at the Wenyuhe court to support fellow artist Wu Yuren during his trial in Beijing, November 17, 2010 (file photo)
Artist Ai Weiwei arrives at the Wenyuhe court to support fellow artist Wu Yuren during his trial in Beijing, November 17, 2010 (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +

Pro-Beijing newspapers in Hong Kong say a prominent Chinese artist who disappeared earlier this month is suspected of tax evasion and destroying evidence.

The Wen Wei Po  and Ta Kung Pao newspapers quoted sources Thursday as saying Chinese authorities suspect Ai Weiwei of evading a huge amount of tax, and of destroying documents that could be used as evidence against him.

The internationally renowned artist designed the "Bird's Nest" Olympic stadium in Beijing that was a centerpiece of the 2008 summer games.  His whereabouts have been unknown since April 3, when he was detained at Beijing's airport while trying to board a flight to Hong Kong.

The newspapers say Ai, a strong critic of China's Communist government, initially refused to cooperate with police, but subsequently has been answering investigators' questions. According to the sources, Ai also is accused of having a young son with a woman who is not his wife, and of posting pornographic material on the Internet.

Gao Ge, sister of dissident artist Ai Weiwei, outside the family home in Beijing, China, April 14, 2011
Gao Ge, sister of dissident artist Ai Weiwei, outside the family home in Beijing, China, April 14, 2011

Ai's sister, Gao Ge, told a reporter the supposed accusations are "comical." She said Ai married his wife, Lu Qing, in the United States, but did not register the union in China. Gao said her brother has a child with another woman, but the arrangement is open and amicable.

Gao also said the pornography allegation against Ai apparently refers to a seminude photograph of himself that he posted online [in which he holds a plush toy in front of his genitals].

Ai has criticized Chinese authorities for their handling of several national scandals. Among these were shoddy construction practices that resulted in the death of many children in collapsed schools during the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. Ai also spoke out about the extensive casualties suffered by Chinese children and infants when illegally adulterated milk powder was sold by producers trying to evade health regulations.

The United States, European Union, Australia and Taiwan have condemned Ai's arrest. China has rejected the condemnations as an attack on its social values and legal system.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid