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Artist Ai Weiwei Faces New Confrontation With China Authorities

Activist artist Ai Weiwei speaks to journalists gathered outside his home in Beijing in June, after nearly three months of detention.
Prominent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is facing a fresh showdown with authorities after vowing to defy a multimillion-dollar bill for back taxes and penalties unless officials return his design company's account books, AP reports in a piece reprinted on "Time" magazine's website.

The report quotes Ai saying he was told he must pay nearly $2.4 million but that he refused to accept the tax notice on November 1.

It says he faces "unspecified further measures" if he fails to make the payment.

Ai, long a thorn in the side of Chinese officials as he aired stinging criticism of the Communist leadership and society, was detained for more than two months this year over what supporters allege are politically motivated allegations.

Ai's work has earned him a place as one of the most sought-after artists on the international stage.