PLEDGE NOW
Ai Weiwei And Dissent In China

A crackdown on dissent in China and the latest on detained superstar artist, Ai Weiwei.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei poses with some seeds from his art installation 'Sunflower Seeds' in London in 2010. (AP)

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei poses with some seeds from his art installation 'Sunflower Seeds' in London in 2010. (AP)

China is in the midst of its biggest crackdown in years on free speech and dissent.

The “jasmine revolutions” in Egypt and Tunisia amazed most of the world; they struck fear into the Chinese Communist Party. What if that model of Twitter-driven human rights-seeking unrest made its way into the streets of China?

In recent weeks, political critics, lawyers, journalists, activists, bloggers, artists have been threatened, detained, arrested and “disappeared” on a remarkable scale.

This hour On Point: we’re looking at the crackdown in China, and the artist Ai Weiwei.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Evan Osnos, China correspondent for The New Yorker. Check out his profile of Ai Weiwei.

Alison Klayman, independent filmmaker and freelance journalist. She reported and directed a PBS Frontline episode called Who’s Afraid of Ai Weiwei? She’s also working on a longer film. You can see more of Ai Weiwei’s art here.

Jerome Cohen, one of the world’s top authorities on China’s legal system and Chinese human rights. He is a professor at New York University School of Law, where he is co-director of the US-Asia Law Institute, and a senior fellow for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations

You can read some of Ai Weiwei’s blog postings in a new book from MIT Press: Ai Weiwei’s Blog:Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants (2006-2009), edited and translated by Lee Ambrozy.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 12, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reacts to the cheering crowd at his primary night rally Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Trump and Sanders take New Hampshire. Ferguson under fire from the Justice Department. A rocky week on Wall Street. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Feb 12, 2016
Overcast sky surrounds a man as he rests beneath the art sculpture 'Cupid’s Span' Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 at Rincon Park in San Francisco. The Bay area has endured unsettled, rainy weather for a week. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Love in the digital age. Romance, sex and expectations in a time of Tinder, Bumble and OKCupid.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 11, 2016
A sampling of same of the great books author David Denby thinks could help encourage young readers to love books. (National Post)

David Denby on the 24 great books that can bring even today’s kids to reading. And maybe you, too.

 
Feb 11, 2016
In this Oct. 21, 2013, file photo, Vern Lund, president of Liberty Mine in central Mississippi near DeKalb, Miss., holds some of the lignite coal planned for use in the nearby Mississippi Power Co. carbon capture power plant. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

The Supreme Court hits the brakes on the heart of President Obama’s push to fight global warming. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #9: Remedy Or Replica?
Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016

Jack Beatty offers one last note from New Hampshire, and looks beyond to the primary races yet to come in both parties.

More »
Comment
 
Tom Ashbrook’s Note From New Hampshire
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016

Fresh off the New Hampshire Presidential Primary results, host Tom Ashbrook reflects on his trip to New Hampshire, and on what comes next in the race to the White House.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #6: Bernie v. Hillary — The Electability Debate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Bill and Betty are not real New Hampshire voters. But their arguments about the Democratic race for President most certainly are.

More »
Comment