11/01/2011 03:53 pm ET Updated Jan 01, 2012

Dissident Artist Says China Is Seeking $2.4 Million In Back Taxes

BEIJING -- Ai Weiwei, the dissident artist whose secret detention earlier this year stirred an international outcry, has been given two weeks to pay $2.4 million in back taxes and penalties, he said Tuesday.

David Gray/Reuters
Ai Weiwei

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Mr. Ai and his lawyers have repeatedly denied the accusations against him, claiming the tax case is simply cover for the government's more chilling aim: to silence a provocateur who has become one of the most persistent and instantly recognizable critics of China's ruling Communist Party.