25 October 2016
Anastasia Lin's journey to the Miss World pageant in Sanya has ended in Hong Kong. Photo: Reuters
Anastasia Lin's journey to the Miss World pageant in Sanya has ended in Hong Kong. Photo: Reuters

Miss World Canada blocked in HK from flying to China pageant

Canada’s China-born Miss World contestant was stopped in Hong Kong and denied permission to board a flight to the beauty pageant’s finals in China, Reuters reported.

Anastasia Lin, 25, a Toronto actress who was crowned Miss World Canada in May, said the ban was punishment for speaking out against human rights abuses in China.

Lin was unable to obtain a visa in advance of her arrival for the contest finals this week in Sanya, Hainan province.

But she said she tried to enter mainland China under a rule that allows Canadian citizens to obtain a landing visa upon arrival in Sanya.

Lin, who is a practitioner of Falun Gong, a spiritual group banned in the mainland, told reporters at Hong Kong International Airport she was prevented from boarding a Dragonair flight to Sanya.

She said there has been no word from the Chinese authorities so far.

“There’s no comment from the Chinese embassy … so I realize that’s the tactics they’re using — they just want to let it die down,” said Lin.

“It’s very difficult to stand up for what you believe in. I need to figure out what to do next.”

Lin testified at a US congressional hearing on religious persecution in China in July.

In her testimony, she said she wanted to “speak for those in China that are beaten, burned and electrocuted for holding to their beliefs”.

Lin said this month her father had been harassed by Chinese officials after she spoke out about human rights abuses in the country.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said he had “no information to provide” about Lin’s case. He did not elaborate.

The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said Lin was not welcome in China, a Canadian newspaper reported Wednesday.

“China does not allow any persona non grata to come to China,” Yundong Yang, an embassy spokesman, told the Globe and Mail.

“I simply do not understand why some people pay special attention to this matter and have raised it repeatedly.”

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