Times are changing. The Central Party has decided to release dissident artist Ai Weiwei and, though he is under a gag order to not relate anything about his last three months in prison, there is real reason to hope.
For one, the government trumped up charges to arrest Ai in the first place when they could have just arrested him on suspicion of being anti-government or anti-party or reactionary or whatever. The charges appear to be tax evasion which again is actually kind of nice. It would have been easy enough to plant evidence seeing as the same party which controls the government also controls the courts, the military, and the police.
If they were able to plant drugs or phony money on him, the famed artist would be very dead by now as both drug trafficking and counterfeiting are capital offenses in the Worker's Paradise (Progressivism be praised). Yet Beijing is downright sweet for a change.
The point is, if they really wanted him taken care of, the Communists could have done whatever they felt like. Especially back in the day.
So call it "Arab Spring with Chinese Characteristics" and blame it on grinchy hearts in Beijing finally thawing. Or maybe it was the international pressure brought on by a combination of diplomatic and economic manueverings and a self-generating information infrastructure that has become an echo-chamber of antipathy and hostility towards the CCP.
Whatever it is, I like it.