中國外交官在美國丟人現眼/郭敏俊/9-9-2012

中國的舊金山總領事高占生與在八月八日,去函俄勒崗州Corvallis 市的市長 Julie Manning,要求她把鎮上一家台美人經營的餐廳外牆的壁畫給除掉。在這封信中,高占生說:「全世界只有一個 中國,西藏與台灣是中國的一部份。」信中又提到中國與俄勒崗州的經濟與文化有極深的關係,對市長暗示說,若能配合則對Corvallis市將會有好處。該信又強調:「為了不讓我們之間的寶貴關係被所謂的『西藏獨立』與『台灣獨立』所沾 污,我們誠懇地希望市長能瞭解我方的立場,並採取有效的措施,制止正在貴市所發生的『西藏獨立』及『台灣獨立』的行為與主 張。」
Corvallis 市在八月二十 日給高某的回函中,除了表示對壁畫一事造成困擾感到遺憾之外,更強調說,地方政府無權規範藝術作品,「如同貴方所 知,美國憲法第一修正案保護美國人民的言論自由,這也包括藝術性的表達在內。」
舊金山的中國總領事所求不遂碰了一個軟釘子,還被上了一堂民主課。高 某猶不知恥,不但不知有所進退反而加大氣勢,在上周特別派出兩名手下高級官員遠赴俄勒崗州Corvallis 市,意圖以人身上陣進逼。市長 Manning與市政經理Jim Patterson在與二人會談之後,對他們表示,市長同意會將舊金山中國總領事館的意見傳達給業主,同時也他們強調,市府絕對不會下令要求業主去除壁畫, 「我們也對他們談到美國憲法。」
據《華聲報》周昭亮的報導,居住俄勒崗州Corvallis 市多年的台美人David Lin,為了表達他對西藏深受中國迫害的關心以及對祖國台灣的愛心,特地在 他經營的餐廳外牆上請台灣的畫家畫出一幅長達100呎的大壁畫。報導指出,「壁畫上除了介紹台灣的著名風景外,也明確的表達出現今台灣人對中國打壓 的不滿。壁畫上的另一半則畫出西藏人受到中國迫害的實景,尤其一幅藏人藉自焚犧牲個人性命來表達出對中國統治的絕望與憤怒的 畫像,更是對路過的小鎮居民及行人具高度衝撞力。」
中國的舊金山總領事高占生等一夥中國外交官,在刻意打壓俄勒崗州Corvallis 市台美人David Lin之言論自由一事上,無意中自暴其短:其一、明目張膽干涉他國內政;其二、缺乏民主法治 觀念,證明中國距現代文明尚有數千年之遙;其三、凸顯中國的霸權主義,以文攻武嚇迫人就範為能事;其四、四處狂吠,掩蓋不了 併吞西藏與台灣不屬中國的事實。
中國外交官被美國一個小鎮的市長施以民主教育,這不夠丟人現眼嗎?
郭敏俊  9-9-2012
《華聲報》周昭亮〈台裔商人與台灣畫家合作 小鎮起迴響〉link:
www.asiatoday.us/2012/08/%E5%8F%B0%E8%A3%94%E5%95%86%E4%BA%BA%E8%88%87%E5%8F%B0%E7%81%A3%E7%95%AB%E5%AE%B6%E5%90%88%E4%BD%9C-%E5%B0%8F%E9%8E%AE%E8%B5%B7%E8%BF%B4%E9%9F%BF/

Mural draws fire from China

September 08, 2012 9:00 am  •  By Bennett Hall, Corvallis Gazette-Times

City rebuffs consulate’s request to force removal of controversial painting

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.

“There is only one China in the world,” the letter reads in part, “and both Tibet and Taiwan are parts of China.”

China invaded Tibet in 1950 and has repeatedly stated its claim to the island of Taiwan. Beijing considers both countries breakaway provinces.

The letter goes on to note the strong economic and cultural ties between China and Oregon and suggests that Corvallis would benefit from cooperating with the consulate’s request.

“To avoid our precious friendship from being tainted by so-called ‘Tibet independence’ and ‘Taiwan independence,’ we sincerely hope you can understand our concerns and adopt effective measures to stop the activities advocating ‘Tibet independence’ and ‘Taiwan independence’ in Corvallis,” the letter states.

In a response dated Aug. 20, Manning expressed regret that the mural had caused concern but noted that local government has no authority to regulate art.

“As you are aware,” Manning’s letter reads, ‘the First Amendment of the United States’ Constitution guarantees freedom of speech in this country, and this includes freedom of artistic expression.”

Two Chinese officials, Vice Consul Zhang Hao and Deputy Consul General Song Ruan, flew to Oregon this week to make their case in person. The two men met Tuesday in Corvallis with Manning and City Manager Jim Patterson.

“They expressed their concern and the concern of the Chinese government about the mural on Mr. Lin’s building,” Patterson said. “They viewed the message as political propaganda.”

Patterson said he and Manning agreed to convey those concerns to Lin but made it clear to the consular officials that the city could not and would not order the painting’s removal.

“We also had a conversation with them about the U.S. Constitution,” Patterson added.

Neither Hao nor Ruan could be reached for comment on Friday.

Lin said he has not been contacted directly by any representative of the Chinese government.

But he is feeling the heat from friends and family, who warn that he or his loved ones could face some form of retaliation, including the possibility of arrest if they travel to China. Even Chao, the artist who created the painting, had a change of heart when criticism of the mural began to mount, Lin said.

“I am under a lot of pressure to take down the mural,” Lin said.

But he has no plans to do anything of the sort.

Lin, who grew up in Taiwan before coming to America as a young man in the 1970s, is a strong advocate of a free Tibet and an independent Taiwan. He intends to leave the mural in place, no matter how much the Chinese government might want it to come down.

“I’ll just keep it the same,” Lin said. “I’ve got to live my life, that’s all.”

Contact reporter Bennett Hall at bennett.hall@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9529

黃美惠

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