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The ongoing dispute between dissident artist Ai Weiwei and the Chinese regime continue today. Earlier in the day, Ai paid 1.3 million dollar bond for tax evasion charges he says are a way for authorities to silence his criticism of the regime. Ai plans to appeal the fine, he says has no legal foundation.
Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei paid a bond of $1.3 million on Tuesday. It paves the way to file what he fears may be an ultimately futile appeal on a tax evasion charge.
Supporters of Ai have said the tax case is part of Beijing's efforts to muzzle one of China's most famous social critics.
Ai paid the bond with money all raised by his supporters... depositing it into a tax bureau bank account on Tuesday afternoon.
Ai added he will not pay the remaining 6.6 million yuan in fines now because that would be a tacit admission of guilt before the appeal ends, which could take months.
On Monday, Ai's lawyer told Reuters that the government's demand that Ai pay the bond into a tax bureau account lacked legal provision.
[Ai Weiwei, Dissident Artist]:
"Our next step is to request an administrative review and ask for an explanation for all the illegal aspects in the whole legal process."
But Ai said he remains pessimistic about successfully contesting the charge of tax evasion, and the combined bill of $2.4 million.
Ai was detained without any charge in early April and held mainly in solitary confinement until his conditional release in late June.
But the artist has ignored efforts to silence him and has instead become a rallying point for China's dissidents and activists under pressure since a government crackdown early this year brought a wave of detentions and arrests.