Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei to challenge tax demand

Weiwei has received seven million Yuan as donations from his supporters.

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2011, 17:18 PM IST

Beijing: Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei will challenge the 2.4 million dollar tax bill levied on him by his government.

He would put up over half of the total amount (8.5 million Yuan) as collateral to begin legal proceedings, which could drag on for a year.

The Chinese Government had earlier given him a 15- day deadline to pay the bill, which was served on him for allegedly evading taxes.

The accusation came after he had been imprisoned without charge for nearly three months, provoking an outcry across the country.

Weiwei has received seven million Yuan as donations from his supporters, after he revealed the amount to be paid by him.

His mother, Gao Ying, said she was intending to sell her house to help him pay the bill.

"The deadline for payment is so tight that not even robbing banks could help," the BBC quoted Ying, as saying.

"The only thing I can do is use my home. I am willing to first mortgage it and then auction it," she added.

But the procedures needed to implement the plan could not be completed, as Weiwei needed the money quickly, either to pay the bill or use as collateral.

"So we`ve decided to use the money people loaned us. Once we`ve put in the collateral, it means we can start to go through the courts,” Weiwei said.

Weiwei’s supporters believe the tax bill was served on him because he is an outspoken critic of the Chinese Government.

ANI