Lu Qing said four officers came to her Beijing home Tuesday and forced her to come with them to a police station.
She said many of their questions were about Ai’s design company Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd. Authorities have demanded it pay 15 million yuan ($2.4 million) in back taxes and fines in an ongoing case.Ironically, it was just three days ago that The Guardian reported Mr. Ai discussed his fear of again being arrested.
A few years ago the celebrated Chinese artist was a well-established figure in the international and domestic art worlds; provocative, certainly, but respectable enough to co-design the Olympic Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing and be covered by Chinese state media. Then his outspoken views and activism triggered clashes with authority, culminating in this year's detention – part of a broader crackdown on activists, lawyers and dissidents that saw dozens held and more harassed, threatened or placed under other restrictions. He has become, to many, the face of human rights in China: more a symbol than a person.