One good thing

Good news about Ai Weiwei though.

The release of Mr. Ai, 54, who is widely known and admired outside China, appeared to be a rare example in recent years of China’s bowing to international pressure on human rights. Mr. Ai was the most prominent of hundreds of people detained since China intensified a broad crackdown on critics of the government in February, when anonymous calls for mass protests modeled after the revolutions in the Middle East percolated on the Chinese Internet.

Crappy about the hundreds though.

China came under unusually heavy pressure from all corners of the globe, not only from standard diplomatic channels but also from prominent people like Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in New York, who harangued China in May at a Manhattan opening of an outdoor sculpture exhibition by Mr. Ai, and Anish Kapoor, a leading sculptor based in Britain who this month canceled a show planned for the National Museum of China in Beijing.

And Salman Rushdie.

Don’t get too happy though.

Few dissidents who have been detained in recent years have been shown leniency. International pressure so far has not helped Liu Xiaobo, a writer who was given a 11-year prison sentence in 2009 on subversion charges. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last October, which he was not allowed to collect.

Always more to do.

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