By: Jeanette Tong and Evan Osborne – Aug 18, 2023

On Aug. 5, several Chinese students studying at the Royal College of Art in the United Kingdom vandalized the graffiti wall on Brick Lane in London, covering up all the previous works of art by various artists, including work by and in tribute to a late artist known as “Marty.” They painted the entire wall white and then, in red paint, sprayed the official core socialist values promulgated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP): prosperity, democracy, civility, freedom, harmony, equality, justice, the rule of law, patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendliness.

The wall’s repainting has sparked strong condemnation from various parties. Several people have visited the wall and spray-painted criticism of the CCP and satirical content aimed at Chinese President Xi Jinping. Although London authorities have since cleared the graffiti, the actions of these students, the message they sought to convey, and their motivation represent the behavioral patterns of the CCP and its avid supporters.

One of the graffiti creators, Wang Hanzheng, expressed on his Instagram page his hope that this work would provoke reflection in the West on the concept of “freedom.” The perpetrators conducted a live broadcast of their spray-painting on the Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book), receiving near-unanimous praise online. One commenter said it was “the most successful export of values.” Said another: “Well done! Aren’t the UK and the US all about freedom? So, painting slogans after entirely erasing those of others should also be a form of freedom.”… [Continue Reading]