* New Yorker, “AI WEIWEI: THE OFFICIAL VIEW”
* CNN, “Where is Ai Weiwei”
April 8th update:
* CNN News with video, “Chinese artist Ai Weiwei: Economic criminal?“
* The Huffington Post, “Free Ai Weiwei“
* Guardian, “Ai Weiwei detention nothing to do with freedom of expression, says China – Foreign ministry removes all references to detained artist from official transcript of news conference and claims he is being investigated for economic crimes“
“The Chinese government has removed references to Ai Weiwei from its official transcript of a news conference. Ten of the 18 questions at the briefing on Thursday concerned the prominent activist, who was detained on Sunday at Beijing airport. All were omitted from the transcript posted on Friday on the foreign ministry’s website.
A spokesman for the department, Hong Lei, said Ai was being investigated for economic crimes, but gave no details. He added that the inquiry had nothing to do with freedom of expression, although the artist has often been targeted by the government. “China is a country under the rule of law, and relevant authorities will work according to law,” he said.”
April 7 update:
* The Telegraph, “Ai Weiwei’s family speak out against investigation”
“Lu Qing, Mr Ai’s wife, said that while no one had expected the arrest, Mr Ai had a “bad feeling” in the week preceding the arrest, especially after multiple visits by the police to the family home. She said a further 40 to 50 policemen had combed the house since last Sunday, taking away computers and money.
“I never expected things would get this bad,” she said. “I have been on the phone to the authorities non-stop since Sunday and no one has been able to say a single word about what is going on,” she added.
“Ai has high blood pressure and diabetes. I’m seriously concerned for his health, and about whether anyone is giving him his medicine. His mother has also been very unstable these last few days, and she also has high blood pressure,” she said.
Mr Ai, whose 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds are currently filling the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern gallery in London, is thought to earn a substantial living from his art. Next month, an installation by Mr Ai will be mounted outside the Plaza hotel in New York, before then travelling to Somerset House in London.
In the past, the Chinese authorities have pursued government critics like Mr Ai for alleged tax violations or other non-political crimes.”
United States Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman delivered a “farewell” speech in Shanghai on Wednesday and he “commended Liu, Ai and others like them who “challenge the Chinese government to serve the public in all cases and at all times.”
“By speaking out candidly,” he noted, “we hope eventually to narrow and bridge this critical gap and move our relationship forward.””
* BBC News, Profile: Ai Weiwei
* Wall Street Journal blog, “Huntsman Suggests Change Needed in Beijing, Not Washington”
* The Diplomat, “Ai Weiwei and ‘Economic Crimes’”