Graffiti believed to refer to forced land seizures in China has appeared on gateposts of the Chinese embassy in the United States. The person responsible for the graffiti is not known.
“Chai”, the Chinese character meaning “demolition”, was written on the embassy’s two gateposts in bluish-black paint on Wednesday morning. The graffiti was later removed by embassy staff, according to China Daily.
The Chinese embassy in Washington DC could not be reached for comment.
Land seizures have been controversial in China in recent years and many people have organised protests against them. One of the latest rallies was led by an ex-official in Yunnan province.
When a building in China is scheduled to be demolished, the character “chai” is written in a circle on the building’s wall in red paint.
Many netizens mocked the graffiti, saying it was “amateurish”.
Others denounced land seizures in China. “The government has been forcing farmers to sell their lands and house owners to sell their houses. Many people have been protesting and I hope the government can do something,” said one Weibo user.
“It’s time to resolve the land seizure issue. Valuable buildings have been demolished and many people have lost homes. It shouldn’t be a problem in a society ruled by law,” commented another.
The Chinese embassy building in the US was designed by the famous Chinese-American architect IM Pei and his two sons. It opened in 2005.