Dissident artist and activist Ai Weiwei has received notice that his challenge to a 15 million yuan ($2.4 million) tax bill served against the company that oversees his art making, Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., has been denied by government authorities, Reuters reports.
Mr. Ai was arrested last year and held for almost three months in a case that many observers believe is related to his vocal criticism of the Chinese government, and later hit with that tax bill.
The artist has said he plans to file suit against the tax authorities and the Beijing security apparatus.
Mr. Ai also stated that he has been informed that he will only receive a written hearing, which rarely results in a reverse of previous judgments. Here’s the wire service:
“I think this is inconceivable,” Ai said. “Our lawyer said: ‘Which country in the world doesn’t dare to face their own taxpayers?’”
“As the people who’ve been charged, we aren’t afraid of making it public. But as a country, how can you be afraid of being transparent?” Ai said.