West unhappy when Ai softens criticism

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-8-8 0:28:04

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has drawn attention from the West again. But this time, the Western media is not sure how to define this figure.

After regaining his passport from authorities in July, Ai departed for Germany, where local media thronged after him. However, an interview published by Sueddeutsche Zeitung recently has drawn huge controversy.

Many German media organizations believe Ai has softened his tone toward the Chinese authorities. Ai said he was allowed to travel again with almost no restrictions, and he could also go back to China, and that the government told him he is a free person. Ai also said that he would not just criticize the government, but should also offer solutions.

When talking about lawyers recently being arrested in China, Ai said things are getting better than when he was detained years ago. "Today, when they detain you, they come with arrest orders. Courts decide what kind of treatment these people will get. They follow procedures," Ai was quoted as saying.

The Voice of America said Ai's words have drawn criticism from Chinese dissidents, who referred to this as the "collapse of an idol."

There are also reports and comments about Ai "helping the totalitarians," "betraying," "surrendering," or that the words do not seem to have come from a free person.

For a long time, Ai has been labeled by Western media as a maverick and a flag bearer who fights against the existing political system. Some Western forces bestowed various honorable titles of the "free world" upon him. Ai has been benefiting from these titles, but in the meantime, he has also been hijacked by them.

Many dissidents admit their awareness of the complex nature of their country's problems during private talks. But in public, they often act as "fighters" against the authorities. Every problem originates from the authorities' mistakes, and reflects the "evil of the system," they say.

This time Ai seemed to have broken out of the label of his role. He opened his heart to the media. It has surprised many, because he did not complain a lot about what he has "suffered" in China, as the Western media expected.

China is not the dark totalitarian country that some in the West described it as. Many elements from the developed world are taking root in China. The country is also facing new problems. The theory that all problems will be resolved once China adopts Western systems does not make sense.

History will prove that the extreme dissidents are actually day dreamers. They attempt to use Western political theories as mathematical formulas for Chinese society. They will only succeed in their dreams.

Posted in: Editorial

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