World-renowned artist and Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei has condemned Beijing for banning his parody of Korean pop sensation Psy's Gangnam Style video.
Ai labelled his parody "Caonima Style" or "Grass mud horse style", an internet meme used on China's web as a symbol of the ongoing protest against censorship. It allows internet users to say "f**k your mother" to the Chinese government without being censored as the word "caonima" is very close to the "f" word in Mandarin.
But the video, posted on Chinese sites such as Tudou, has been removed by Chinese authorities.
"We only filmed for a bit over 10 minutes but we used a whole day to edit, and eventually put it online at midnight," Ai told Reuters.
"After we had uploaded it, a few hours later we found that a lot of people, tens of thousands, had already watched it. Now, in China, it has already been totally removed, deleted entirely, and you can't see it in China.
"Overall, we feel that every person has the right to express themselves, and this right of expression is fundamentally linked to our happiness and even our existence.
"When a society constantly demands that everyone should abandon this right, then the society becomes a society without creativity. It can never become a happy society."
The caonima meme has been a recurring theme in Ai's recent life.
In 2009 he posed semi-nude with a stuffed caonima over his genitals. The picture's title was "Grass mud horse covering the middle".
Some experts believe the act may have played a role in his 81-day detention in 2011 - a move which sparked aninternational outcry against China's censorship.
Last month, a court upheld a $2.4 million tax evasion fine against him, ending a long legal battle with the authorities. He can be jailed if he does not pay.
Handout photo of dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei dancing (Reuters)