The freedom of speech and specifically the power and authority to speak out against one's government is a concept that is mostly adapted and encouraged by western nations due to the effects of movements like the Enlightenment and the overall history of the U.S. This ability to express and share ideals, and to critically assess can create in the masses a mindset that is not complacent, but allows everyone a voice in bringing about changes that they see fit. In countries like China, individual freedoms are outlined in the People's Republic of China's constitution, which states in Article 35: "Citizens of the Peoples's Republic of China [can] enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration" (People's Daily Online). The idea of freedom of speech as a western construct and its development in nations like China and its people is assessed in relation to a Chinese artist and activist, Ai WeiWei.
Asamoah, Nali, "Freedom of Speech: China and the Case of Ai WeiWei" (2016). 2016 Honors Council of the Illinois Region Papers. 3.