Supporters Raise about $900,000 for Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei


by NTDTelevision

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Financial support is continuing to come in for Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. Chinese authorities have ordered Ai to pay 2.4 million dollars in two weeks for alleged tax evasion.

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who has been ordered to pay $2.4 million for alleged tax evasion, has received about $945,600 US dollars over the Internet.

On Friday, a handful of Ai's supporters began sending him "loans" over an online payment platform called Alipay. They call themselves Ai's "creditors." In a few short hours, donations came flooding in.

Volunteers who have pitched in to help are keeping track of the donations in Ai's office.

[Liu Yanping, Volunteer]:
"As of last night at about 10 o'clock - that's in three and a half days from noon on November 4 - we have received over 5.6 million yuan in over 20,000 transactions."

Another volunteer says the unpaid hours were worth it because he believes that his efforts are an important contribution towards the future of the Chinese people.

[Zhang Haining, Volunteer]:
"I want to stir the hearts of the Chinese people, and right now I hope that the Chinese people won't be too numb. If everyone makes their small contribution, I think it can become a powerful force - one that is fearless."

Ai said authorities had not shown him evidence of the alleged tax evasion.

He says he faces an agonizing choice: either pay the bill with a tacit admission of guilt or resist and risk imprisonment.