The timing of the latest measures have a particular irony, with music icon Bob Dylan due to play concerts in both countries over the next few days (in Beijing tomorrow, in Shanghai on April 8th, and in Ho Chi Minh City — formerly Saigon — on April 10th).
The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, known for being a gadfly to the communist regime, was arrested at an airport in Beijing on Sunday, and has not been heard from since. Dozens of others have met similar fates since China began cracking down on even the slightest whispers of a “jasmine revolution” in the wake of popular protests against dictatorial regimes in the Middle East — and hundreds more are living under house arrest. (One mild way of expressing support for Ai Weiwei might be by following his Twitter account — currently at over 74,000 followers). Continue reading “Crackdowns in China and Vietnam”