Ai Weiwei: China Is Laughing At Trump

In a new interview for The Global Politico during a rare visit to Trump’s Washington, artist Ai Weiwei referred to Trump’s win as “the moment I think history stopped,” a “backward” evolution that undermines liberal ideas like freedom of speech and human dignity everywhere. Authoritarian leaders in China and elsewhere are the beneficiaries of Trump and the crisis of American democracy, said Ai, who spent four years under house arrest and forbidden to leave China before being allowed to leave the country two years ago. “China is laughing about this situation,” he said. “China, Russia, they all laugh about it.” Ai, who has long embraced political themes in his work, has gone full-out activist in a new feature-length documentary film about the global refugee crisis, called Human Flow and released in theaters across the U.S. Friday, and in a new, New York City-wide public-art exhibit of 300 works in dozens of locations called “Good Walls Make Good Neighbors.”

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