Sunday, September 09, 2012

China Officials Harass Corvallis Mural Owner

The lengths to which the thugs in Beijing will go are truly amazing....China consulate harasses mural owner.
Citing “strong resentment from the local Chinese community,” the Chinese government has asked the city of Corvallis to force a Taiwanese-American businessman to remove a mural advocating independence for Taiwan and Tibet from his downtown building.

But city leaders say the mural violates no laws and its political message is protected under the U.S. Constitution.

Taiwanese artist Chao Tsung-song painted the 10-foot-by-100-foot mural last month on the side of the old Corvallis MicroTechnology building at Southwest Fourth Street and Jefferson Avenue. The work was commissioned by property owner David Lin, who is renovating the space for a restaurant and has rechristened the building Tibet House.

In vivid colors, the painting depicts riot police beating Tibetan demonstrators, Buddhist monks setting themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule and images of Taiwan as a bulwark of freedom.

In a letter dated Aug. 8, the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco formally complained to Corvallis Mayor Julie Manning about the mural’s content and asked for her help in having it removed.
In its own way, scarier than the thuggish response of the consulate is actually the self-censorship of some of the individuals discussed further down in the story. This kind of threats and harassment has an effect...
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Anonymous said...

If China is going to deploy its economic arsenal against a mural in Corvallis, imagine what it would be willing to do (and is already doing) to its neighbors.

Marc said...

Chinese never learn. Harassing Oregonians is even riskier than fighting against Mongolians and Tibetans.

StefanMuc said...

It's nice to see a brave man like Mr Lin taking a stand. While the Chinese government attempts to suppress free speech abroad, they are actually showing themselves to be vulnerable. It just takes a mural somewhere and already the PRC feels compelled to react. Those are not the actions of a state who feels it's territorial claims are beyond dispute, but one who knows how weak it's case is.

It's also encouraging to read the supportive comments on the newspaper's site.

Jonathan Benda said...

The city government shouldn't even have agreed to convey the PRC's "concerns" to Lin. They should have told them to write a letter to the editor, like everyone else has to do.

Readin said...

A local government official refusing to use his governing power to punish people for their beliefs - it's good to see, especially after that unforunate recent incident where a number of government officials threatened to use their powers to keep Chic-fil-a out of some markets because they didn't like what one of the leaders of the company said.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
is my comments at the Oregon paper.

I Salute Mayor Manning for upholding citizen's right. Wake up American! The Chinese coercion and threat is everywhere in the States. In 2006, Xuhui, a district of Shanghai, China, lobbied heavily to become a sister city of Irvine, California with only one condition that Irvine not honor her 5-year sister cityhood with Taoyuan, a city in Taiwan. After the Chinese demand was disclosed and rejected, Xuhui decided not to pursue sister city relationship with Irvine. See the web link below for details. Laauw is right. After successfully brain washing 1 billion people, China plans to install hundreds of Confucius Institutes in the States to “educate” American’s mind and soul.

Kudo to Mr. Lin and Mr. Chao for painting the truth about China.

Anonymous said...

yes, it IS scary the way the mural artist, the Taiwanese man, has said he is now afraid and does not want to be involved, although Mr Lin is standing tall. Also contrast this Chinese thuggery with how the Japanese diplomats in New Jersey last month complained to local mayor about a "comfort women memorial sign" erected by some Korean-Americans. The J diplomats in NYC went to to NJ and said hey, that sign offends us Japanese. There were NO comfort women, the Koreans said hey Japan your attitude offends US, there were so comfort women and this is AMerica and free speech reigns.

Anonymous said...

From The Marmot's Hole

‘Comfort women’ controversy goes to New Jersey

May 29, 2012

Palisades Park—Korean population, has erected a monument for the “comfort women.”

And the Japanese don’t like it. At all. Get a load of this lobbying approach (HT to Liz):

Mayor James Rotundo of Palisades Park said the lobbying began obliquely late last month. Officials at the Japanese consulate in New York sent e-mails requesting a meeting with borough administrators.

“I called the secretary and said, ‘What is this about?’ ” the mayor recalled in an interview, “and she said, ‘It’s about Japanese-U.S. relations,’ and I said: ‘Oh. Well, O.K.’ ”

The first meeting, on May 1, began pleasantly enough, he said. The delegation was led by the consul general, Shigeyuki Hiroki, who talked about his career, including his work in Afghanistan — “niceties,” Mr. Rotundo said.

Then the conversation took a sudden turn, Mr. Rotundo said. The consul general pulled out two documents and read them aloud.

One was a copy of a 1993 statement from Yohei Kono, then the chief cabinet secretary, in which the Japanese government acknowledged the involvement of military authorities in the coercion and suffering of comfort women.

The other was a 2001 letter to surviving comfort women from Junichiro Koizumi, then the prime minister, apologizing for their treatment.

Mr. Hiroki then said the Japanese authorities “wanted our memorial removed,” Mr. Rotundo recalled

Anonymous said...

The second J-delegation arrived on May 6 and was led by four members of the Japanese Parliament. Their approach was less diplomatic, Mr. Rotundo said. The politicians, members of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, tried, in asking that the monument be removed, to convince the Palisades Park authorities that comfort women had never been forcibly conscripted as sex slaves.

“They said the comfort women were a lie, that they were set up by an outside agency, that they were women who were paid to come and take care of the troops,” the mayor related. “I said, ‘We’re not going to take it down, but thanks for coming.’ ”

And they wonder why people doubt the sincerity of Japanese apologies.

Anyway, there’s reportedly a signature campaign underway in Japan to get the monument removed. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

Corvallis is a teeny tiny (and very beautiful) town of my fair State, and that makes me wonder how a mural in such a small town USA showed up on the radar scope of Chinese Consulate General SF. They got some good network, I bet.

Sarah Morrigan said...

Corvallis has a big Chinese community? Now that is a surprise.

What is more likely that the foreign students from the PRC are mobilized as agents of the Chinese consulates. The Chinese Foreign Ministry controls foreign students of PRC citizenship through its control of the Chinese student associations and the Confucius Institutes on college campuses. As in all other major universities in Oregon, the Oregon State University has a fairly large number of students from China on the F-1 visa.

Joshua Samuel Brown said...

I am in Portland now, so I think I shall visit Mr. Lin and have tea with him!