Thomas F. O'Neill
This year’s Miss World beauty pageant is being held in mainland China but Canada’s Miss World beauty contestant, Anastasia Lin, is banned from ever entering China. She was stopped in Hong Kong on Thursday, November 26th and denied a visa to enter the Country.
Anastasia Lin, the 25-year-old Toronto actress was crowned Miss World Canada in May. Lin, believes she is now being punished by the Chinese authorities for speaking out against human rights abuses in China.
She states her inability to obtain a visa in advance of her arrival for the contest finals in Sanya, (a southern Chinese resort island of Hainan) is nothing more than retaliation against her by the Chinese government.
Canadian citizens can obtain a landing visa upon arrival in Sanya but when she attempted to obtain the visa she was immediately denied and was barred from ever entering mainland China.
She told reporters at the Hong Kong International Airport that she is also being persecuted by the Chinese authorities for her religious beliefs. Lin, is a practitioner of Falun Gong, a religious group that she says is being repressed in China.
“There has been no response from the Chinese authorities so far …,” she told reporters, “….no comments from the Chinese embassy, so I realize that's the tactics they're using, they just want to let it die down."
She went on to say, “it’s very difficult to stand up for what you believe in so I need to figure out what to do next."
“I want to speak for those in China that are beaten, burned, and electrocuted for holding to their beliefs,” she told a U.S. congressional hearing on religious persecution in China. The hearing was held in July of this year.
Lin, now claims her father who lives in China is being harassed by Chinese officials. She states the harassment started shortly after she testified before the U.S. congressional hearing.
However, there is no concrete evidence to back her claims that her Father is being harassed in China.
Canadian newspapers are now reporting that the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said that Lin is not welcomed in China. "China does not allow any persona non grata to come to China," Yundong Yang, an embassy spokesman, told Canadian reporters. "I simply do not understand why some people pay special attention to this matter and have raised it repeatedly."
On a brighter note, Miss World pageant organizers have announced that they will offer, Anastasia Lin, a place in the 2016 Miss World contest.
I’m not a big fan of beauty pageants and I did [not] watch the Miss World contest. However, due to the nature of this story I thought it was worth writing about. Anastasia Lin, has plenty of political supporters who are giving this story plenty of airtime in the western media. That being said, her story is not getting any airtime what so ever in China. I decided to jump on the band wagon and write about her because of the human interest value.
On the other hand, all this media coverage on Lin’s potential to take home the top beauty crown in 2016 seems a bit superficial.
The western media should be more focused on the actual human rights abuses being conducted in China. The media surly has the means to expose those abuses and force the Chinese authorities to bring about change for the better.
Always with love from Suzhou, China
Thomas F O’Neill
U.S. voice mail: (800) 272-6464
China Cell: 011-86-15114565945
Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found on his award winning blog, Link:
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