News / Asia

Hong Kong Denies Entry to Wanted Tiananmen Leader

File photo - Former student leader in the 1989 Tiananmen protests, Wu'er Kaixi speaks to media before addressing hundreds at candlelight vigil, Democracy Square, Taipei.
File photo - Former student leader in the 1989 Tiananmen protests, Wu'er Kaixi speaks to media before addressing hundreds at candlelight vigil, Democracy Square, Taipei.
Ivan Broadhead
One of the top student leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen protests again tried to surrender to Chinese authorities on Monday but was turned back from Hong Kong.
 
Wu'er Kaixi, number two on China's list of “most wanted” Tiananmen activists, landed at Hong Kong's airport wishing to proceed to China to visit his parents, but prepared to be arrested for his involvement in the 1989 uprising.
 
Speaking to VOA's Mandarin service from the airport, the dissident explained his actions were the result of China's “absurd” act of ordering his arrest, while simultaneously refusing to allow him to return to the country.
 
"I told them I am a wanted Chinese criminal, and wanted to turn myself in,” he said. “I haven't seen my father and mother for over 20 years. I hope the Hong Kong government can provide assistance in helping me turn myself in, and extradite me to China.”
 
Wu'er's effort to visit his ailing parents in mainland China refocuses attention on the events leading up to June 4th 1989, as the quarter century anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre draws closer.
 
The 45-year-old was accompanied from Taipei by Hong Kong Democratic legislator Albert Ho, who also advised former U.S. Intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
 
After previous efforts to place himself in Chinese custody, including an attempt to enter China's embassy in Washington, D.C., in 2012, the father of two is psychologically prepared for prison, says Ho.
 
“This time he wanted to make his voice heard to the public," Ho said. "It was a humanitarian appeal. Although he would disagree with any punishment inflicted on him, he has overcome his fear — his desire to see his parents is overwhelming.”
 
After five hours in detention at the airport, local authorities refused Wu'er entry and deported him back to Taiwan. While the Hong Kong government usually extradites anyone on China's wanted list back to the mainland, Ma Ngok, associate professor of government at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, is unsurprised by the outcome.
 
“If he was allowed in, the Chinese government would be in a difficult situation," he said. "If they press charges against him it would spur international attention, which China does not want. [Equally], it is impossible for them to let him in and then do nothing, so they prefer not to let him back.”
 
Political analyst Willy Lam, who met Wu'er several times in Tiananmen Square during the 1989 uprising, recalls a charismatic leader best remembered for challenging Chinese premier Li Peng in a nationally televised debate May 18, 1989. His case, and that of other student leaders, presents a challenge for the country's new leadership, Lam observes.
 
“Xi Jinping will have to make a decision whether to allow these blacklisted former student leaders back to China. Two or three dozen have in fact returned after pledging they will not stir up trouble. However, for big name figures like [Wu'er] or Chai Ling, who is now in the U.S., the leadership is still very nervous.”
 
Although Wu'er is most closely linked to the Tiananmen uprising, Lam points out that he is also an ethnic Uighur from the restless Xinjiang region of northwest China.
 
“The recent car bomb in Tiananmen Square means the Chinese government is very nervous about Uighurs," he said. "But I don't think there is any association between him and organizations agitating for independence of Xinjiang. The reason he is still on the blacklist is Beijing's decision not to allow [some] student leaders back to China. Even though what took place occurred a long, long time ago, it betrays the insecurity within the Communist Party.”
 
While public discussion of the Tiananmen massacre may be stifled inside China, says Ho, the example of Wu'er and his peers has not been entirely forgotten.
 
“China is a closed society, and you never know in a closed society what is happening on the inside," he said. "It is always possible something explosive may happen. And though the government has denied people's right to know, there is still certainty a collective memory about what happened in '89.”
 
The legacy of June 4 continues to grow in Hong Kong, where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend next year's vigil honoring those who fell on Tiananmen Square a quarter of a century ago.
 
In recent years, in a reversal of Wu'er's intended journey, increasing numbers of mainland visitors are traveling to Hong Kong to join the commemoration.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid