China is set to host the annual Miss World pageant on December 19, in the city of Sanya, on Hainan Island. If the host nation gets its way, one contestant won't be there: Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin, who was barred from entering the nation and was denied a visa by the pageant organizers. She was able to travel to Hong Kong, but was not allowed on her flight to mainland China. Lin is a human rights activist and has spoken out about China's rights abuses and lack of religious freedom, and she believes she is being punished for these views.
Lin released a statement on her Facebook page, and did not hold back from identifying various abuses committed by the Chinese government.
Lin was born in China, but moved to Canada when she was 13 and is now a Canadian citizen. Canadian citizens are permitted to obtain a landing visa when they arrive in Sanya.
This is absurd. A country hosting an international competition, be it the Olympics (which China is hosting in 2022), World Cup, or a beauty pageant, should not be barring competitors from entering the country for the event. Shortly after her victory in Miss World Canada, Lin's father, who still lives in China, was harassed by Chinese officials and cut off all contact with her.
Perhaps even more maddening is the Miss World Organization's lack of support for its contestant. Instead of pressuring the host nation to allow Lin into the country for the competition, they have merely offered her the chance to compete in 2016's Miss World finals. The 2016 finals will occur in Seoul.
Instead of barring a beauty queen from entering the nation for telling the truth about the horrors of how Chinese citizens are stripped of basic human rights, maybe China should...stop stripping citizens from their basic human rights. Just a thought.