BEIJING (AP).- Artist Ai Weiwei has been battling Chinese authorities for years. A Beijing court on Friday rejected his company's lawsuit against an agency that fined it more than $2 million for tax evasion. Here are some of the recent clashes Ai has had with officials:
2008-2009: Ai draws attention to the thousands of children killed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, many of whom died in shoddily built schools that collapsed. Ai publishes the names of 5,835 victims on his blog, and in Germany he opens an art exhibit titled "Remembering" using thousands of children's backpacks. He said, "The lives of the students disappeared within the state propaganda, and very soon everybody will forget everything."
August-September 2009: Ai tries to attend the subversion trial of writer and activist Tan Zuoren, who had also tried to compile names of the earthquake dead. Ai is barred from testifying. Four police officers carrying guns and batons barge into his hotel room at 3 a.m., then beat and threaten to kill him. He is held briefly, then sent back to Beijing. A month later, he has emergency surgery in Munich to relieve swelling in his brain from the attack.
April 2011: Ai uses Twitter to catalog the growing number of dissidents disappearing into detention amid calls for a "Jasmine Revolution" in China, inspired by anti-government protests in Egypt and elsewhere. Ai is detained at the Beijing Capital Airport before catching a flight to Hong Kong. He disappears for 81 days and is believed to be detained but there is no official confirmation of his whereabouts.
June 2011: Ai is released but warned that he is still under investigation and must not leave Beijing for a year. He is warned not to tweet or talk to media but within months, he resumes both. Chinese authorities say he confessed to tax evasion in custody but he tells reporters that he has done nothing wrong. Soon after his release his company is handed a $1.85 million bill for back taxes.
October 2011: A revised government notice now demands that Ai's design company pay $2.4 million in back taxes and fines. Ai's supporters say the case is bogus and Ai says he will fight the judgment and the fine. Thousands of people send money through wire transfers; some throw cash stuffed in envelopes or wrapped around fruit into his yard. He uses the donations to pay a $1.3 million guarantee to the court.
June 2012: Ai's year-long parole expires but he is told by police he cannot travel outside China because he remains under investigation on suspicion of illegal exchange of foreign currency, and pornography. The latter allegation is believed to be linked to satirical and non-racy snapshots posted online of him posing naked with four topless women. Ai says the allegations are far-fetched.
July 2012: The lawsuit against the agency behind the tax fine is rejected.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.