DHARAMSHALA: Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio strongly disapproved the Chinese consulate’s move to remove a mural dedicated to free Tibet and Taiwan independence in Corvallis, saying the city will stand firm on democracy and freedom, and not bow to China’s bullying.
The giant mural, painted on the front a building in Corvallis, depicts Chinese police beating Tibetan monks and Tibetans setting themselves on fire. It was commissioned by Taiwanese-American businessman David Lin.
Speaking on the floor of the House on Wednesday (12 September), Congressman DeFazio said: “Recently, the Chinese consul general sent a letter to the mayor of Corvallis, a small city in my district. The letter was followed up by personal visits by the vice consul and the deputy consul general. Now, we always welcome visitors, but under these circumstances, we have some concerns.
“They are trying to pressure the mayor of the City of Corvallis to compel a local businessman to remove a mural dedicated to free Tibet and Taiwan independence from his downtown building. It was characterised by the local newspaper as a shakedown because the original letter broadly hinted that it might be in Corvallis’ best interest economically to cooperate with the request.
“I am shocked and appalled that apparently Chinese professional diplomats have failed to read the Constitution of the United States of America before traveling here to represent their country.
“This represents the basis of our representative democracy, our freedom of speech, and our rights, and it will not be bullied by China or any other overseas interest,” Congressman DeFazio said in his statement.