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Ai's release not to do with foreign pressure
Global Times | June 24, 2011 03:20
By Global Times
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Just as when Ai Weiwei was arrested by the police, his release has triggered speculation among Western media about the political implications of this case.

Beijing police stated on Wednesday that Ai's company was found to have evaded huge amounts of taxes and destroyed accounting documents, and that he was released on bail because of his illness and willingness to repay the taxes.

Still, Western media have preferred to see this as a result of political pressure from Western governments and human rights groups.

They continue to push Chinese authorities to release other people involved in the same case.

It may be worth questioning whether the police could have done better in handling Ai's case, such as the timeliness in disclosing official information about his arrest. However, the entire process from Ai's arrest to his release shows the country's positive efforts in improving its legal procedures.

The authorities will draw some lessons from this case, as from the controversies that have ensued. In the meantime, celebrities, especially those who are enthusiastic about politics, will also become smarter in keeping themselves clean and not breaking the law.

In some Westerners' eyes, China has no rule of law at all. The "dictators" can arrest whomever they want simply at the stroke of a pen. The Western critics care nothing about what laws Ai and other "political dissidents" may have broken.

It is true that the operation of China's legal system is far from perfect. To the strictest standards, there are still problems in many legal cases.

What the authorities need to do in the future is to fix these problems and standardize legal practices.

However, what the West has been doing is sheer political interference. They are upsetting China's attempt to build social order.

They are trying to raise the flag of Western ideology above China's judicial system. They wish for Chinese judges to only recite US and EU political lines.

Ai was held about 80 days, not exceeding the limit of detention before prosecution, as Chinese law dictates. It is also in accordance with the law that a suspect of economic crimes can be released on bail for medical treatment.

Western media believe foreign pressures have worked. It seems that their interpretation will do no harm to China's external relations.

But China will hold its judicial sovereignty in its own hands. The country will continue to stride forward, and it will not pay heed toward this inane chatter. 

Ai Weiwei, like the rest of his countrymen, will keep living his life within the framework of Chinese laws.

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