|photo obtained from The Spectator|
"China warned the international community it had "no right to interfere" in the case of outspoken artist Ai Weiwei, who has been detained for investigation of unspecified economic crimes. Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei confirmed a state media report that Ai, an avant-garde artist taken into custody in Beijing on Sunday as the government pursues a heavy crackdown on dissent, was the subject of a police probe.
"Ai Weiwei is under investigation on suspicion of economic crimes," Hong told reporters, refusing to comment on the nature of the alleged crimes. "Other countries have no right to interfere."
In unusually blunt public comments, Huntsman -- who will soon leave his post -- saluted Ai, jailed Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo and others who "challenge the Chinese government to serve the public in all cases and at all times".
China typically uses charges such as subversion to put away government critics, as it did in Liu's case, but has also previously leveled accusations of various economic crimes such as tax-related offences to silence others. ...
On Thursday, it said reining in provocative people like Ai was more important that allowing him to speak freely. ...
The government has been extremely skittish following the mysterious online calls for people to gather each Sunday around China in peaceful demonstrations....
.No protests have been reported, but scores of dissidents, activists and rights lawyers have been rounded up in recent weeks..."