Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Land rights campaigners strike at second Chinese embassy

The Chinese embassy in Canada has become the second mission targeted with graffiti as part of a protest campaign by a US-based land rights group. The Washington-based Sparrow Initiative confirmed its members were responsible for fixing a board with the Chinese character chai – meaning demolish or dismantle – to the gates of the embassy in Ottawa on Sunday. The group also claimed responsibility for similar marks spray-painted on the gates of the Chinese embassy in Washington last week, a protest that coincided with high-level Sino-US economic talks. The group’s founder, Yang Jianli, also president of Initiatives for China, told the South China Morning Post the actions were intended as part of a month-long campaign against land grabs and forced evictions on the mainland. The chai character is a familiar sight across the mainland, where it is sprayed onto buildings marked for demolition often as part of forced evictions. A person who answered the phone at the Chinese embassy in Ottawa last night confirmed that the sign had been taken down. An embassy spokesman could not be reached for comment. The mark on the Washington embassy was quickly removed after it was found on Thursday. But pictures quickly circulated around Weibo, being shared more than 200,000 times. Emboldened by their success, the group is planning to target more embassies.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1283503/chinese-embassy-canada-becomes-second-be-targeted-land-rights-campaigners

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