War Of Words Over China Breaks Out On London Wall

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A wall on London’s famous Brick Lane became the canvas for supporters and opponents of China’s authorities, with graffiti echoing the regime’s propaganda immediately covered by anti-Beijing slogans.

Residents on the east London street, well known for its street-art, woke up on Sunday to find a whitewashed wall overlaid with red Chinese characters outlining the 12 “core socialist values” at the heart of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda.

These values, defined by the CCP, include “prosperity”, “patriotism” and “harmony”, “democracy”, “equality”, “freedom” and “the rule of law”.

The graffiti drew widespread criticism on social networks, and was quickly covered with slogans hostile to the Chinese authorities and Xi Jinping.

“I utterly condemn the #CCP thugs who defaced London’s Brick Lane with their regime’s vile hate-filled propaganda,” tweeted Benedict Rogers, head of rights group Hong Kong Watch.

Among the slogans daubed on top of the graffiti included “some are more equal than others”, and “no freedom in China”.

“It is traumatising for me and my friends because in primary school and middle school you have to remember those phrases…, it is almost like a brainwashing code,” Apple, who grew up in China, told AFP.

The local council removed both the pro- and anti-China graffiti on Monday morning.

“I think it did get covered up too quickly,” local artist Russell Shaw Higgs told AFP.

“Yesterday was very interesting because many people came and responded with counter graffiti and it became a literal conversation on the walls, which is what it should be,” he added.

On Instagram, an art student said he was the author of the original graffiti, but denied any political message and denounced the threats he had received in recent days.

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