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CORVALLIS, Ore. -- The Chinese government is trying to pressure the mayor of an Oregon college town to order that a businessman remove a mural advocating independence for Tibet and Taiwan.

Two consular officials flew in from San Francisco earlier this month in an unsuccessful bid to persuade Corvallis Mayor Julie Manning to find a way to have the mural removed.

The Chinese consulate earlier sent a letter saying the mural has caused strong resentment from the local Chinese community.

The mayor says the art is protected speech under the First Amendment and she has no authority to order its removal.

Local businessman David Lin, an immigrant from Taiwan, installed the mural earlier this year and says he won't take it down.

Photo courtesy of Andy Cripe, Corvallis Gazette-Times

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