Beauty queen Anastasia Lin still being censored despite return to Miss World contest

Beauty queen Anastasia Lin still being censored despite return to Miss World contest
JISHOU, HUNAN — Changsha native Anastasia Lin, last year’s Miss World Canada, is still facing censorship for her outspoken criticism of China’s human rights record. Though the Miss World organization has allowed Lin, 26, to represent Canada in this year’s international pageant, her access to the press has been tightly controlled by the organization. Officials even interrupted Lin’s interview with a Boston Globe reporter a few days ago. Investors in the Miss World organization are mostly Chinese, according to news reports. Lin was crowned Miss World Canada last year, but China denied her a visa to participate in the international pageant held in Sanya, Hainan. Lin got as far as Hong Kong, but was told a visa to enter mainland China was not available. Organization officials allowed Lin to represent Canada in this year’s competition, which began last month. The finals will be held tomorrow evening at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. A practitioner of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement considered dangerous by the Chinese government, Lin had made headlines with her sharp criticism of China’s suppression of Falun Gong, alleging the government was guilty of human rights abuses. Now, Lin is the star of a film ...

N. Korean defector told to leave China after she criticizes gov’t policy

N. Korean defector told to leave China after she criticizes gov't policy
Author and human rights activist Hyeonseo Lee was told yesterday to cut short her visit to Beijing, after her sharp criticism of the Chinese policy of repatriating North Korean defectors got wide media attention. In a Facebook post, Lee, a North Korean defector herself, said Chinese authorities told her she had to return to Seoul, South Korea, a day ahead of schedule. “Honestly, I was hiding in the bathroom at the airport in Beijing waiting for my flight. When I arrived in South Korea, I felt so relieved and grateful for a country that will accept and protect me,” she says in her Facebook post. Lee had come to Beijing for a “meet the author” event Sunday at The Bookworm-Beijing. Her memoir about her own escape from North Korea, The Girl With Seven Names, was published last year. During her talk, she criticized the Chinese policy of sending North Korean defectors back home, where human rights activists say they will be imprisoned or tortured for attempting to leave. Chinese authorities, for their part, claim the North Koreans are “illegal migrant workers,” who must be deported. Although Lee spoke to a mostly Western audience, a Chinese translation of an Agence France-Presse ...

Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin speaks to National Press Club

Skip to 5:34 to miss all the introductions, if you like.

Chinese party newspaper calls Miss World Canada ‘pretty’ but ‘misguided’

Chinese party newspaper calls Miss World Canada 'pretty' but 'misguided'
Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin is “misguided in her values” and has only herself to blame for being barred from mainland China, an editorial in Global Times says. The Chinese Communist Party newspaper says “Lin has to pay a cost for being tangled with hostile forces against China.” The hostile force is Falun Gong, which the party considers a dangerous cult and has banned in the mainland. Lin, 25, was prevented late last month from attending the Miss World pageant in Sanya, Hainan. She got as far as Hong Kong, but was denied a visa as she was declared persona non grata by Chinese immigration officials. A practitioner of Falun Gong, the Hunan native has been very critical of China’s human rights record, and has called for the independence of Tibet and Xinjiang from the Beijing government. Both regions have ethnic minorities who resent domination by the Han majority and the distant Beijing national government. After Lin published a statement about her situation in Hong Kong, the party’s English language mouthpiece responded with a condescending editorial, calling her “pretty,” but “misguided in her values” and ignorant of her homeland. It blames Lin for acting in a way offensive to China, ...

Miss World Canada’s statement about her failed attempt to attend pageant

Miss World Canada's statement about her failed attempt to attend pageant
Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada, published the following statement on her Facebook page today. China is preventing her from attending the Miss World competition in Hainan, apparently for political reasons. **** Dear friends, at 6:00am local time on Nov 26th I arrived in Hong Kong en route to Sanya, China, host city of the 2015 Miss World competition. Unlike all other Miss World contestants, I did not receive an invitation letter from the Chinese organizers of this event, and so was unable to obtain a visa in advance. I was never given an explanation as to why I did not receive the letter. Under Chinese law, however, Canadian citizens are eligible to obtain a landing visa upon arrival in Sanya, so I decided to try attending anyway. Unfortunately, I was prevented from boarding the plane from Hong Kong to Sanya. No reason was given for the denial. I will be holding a press conference in Hong Kong tomorrow morning at 10am local time at the Regal Airport Hotel. The slogan of the Miss World competition is “Beauty with a purpose.” My purpose is to advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves—those who suffer in prisons and labor camps, or ...

Chinese officials bar Miss World Canada from flight to Hainan pageant

Chinese officials bar Miss World Canada from flight to Hainan pageant
Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada, has been prevented from boarding a flight from Hong Kong to Sanya, Hainan, to attend the Miss World pageant, the AP reports. Lin had not received the necessary letter of invitation from Chinese immigration authorities to obtain her visa, but she attempted to fly in China anyway. Hong Kong is administered separately from the mainland and does not require visas for Canadian citizens. The preliminary activities of the pageant began Monday. Lin, a follower of Falun Gong spirituality, is an outspoken critic of China’s poor human rights record. The Beijing government considers Falun Gong a dangerous cult, and has banned the organization within China. The 25-year-old theater student was born in China, but emigrated to Canada with her mother at age 13. Her father still lives near Changsha, Hunan. More details at The Guardian.

China shuts out Canadian Miss World contestant for political reasons

China shuts out Canadian Miss World contestant for political reasons
China is apparently denying a Chinese-Canadian a chance to come to the Miss World contest tomorrow in Sanya, Hainan, because of her human rights activities. Anastasia Lin,25, has not yet received a letter of invitation from Chinese immigrant authorities. Without it, she cannot obtain a visa for entry into China. Other contestants received their letters last month. Lin is an outspoken critic of China’s human rights record, particularly regarding its prohibition of Falun Gong, a spiritual group that Beijing calls a religious cult. Her father, who lives in Changsha, Hunan, has also been harassed by authorities, because of his daughter’s work. She and her mother emigrated to Canada 12 years ago. Lin was crowned Miss World Canada in May. The pageant operators in Canada have refused to send a runner-up contestant to Sanya. More details are at the BBC and Shanghaiist.
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