Chinese paper chides Miss Canada over rights stance

Anastasia Lin gives a press conference in Hong Kong on Nov 27, 2015.
Anastasia Lin gives a press conference in Hong Kong on Nov 27, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese media blasted this year's Miss Canada on Monday (Nov 30) over her claim that Beijing froze her out of an international beauty pageant due to her outspoken views on human rights.

Officials in Hong Kong last week stopped Anastasia Lin from boarding a plane bound for the southern Chinese city of Sanya, where the Miss World finals will be held in December, telling her she would not receive a visa.

The 25-year old actress claims the decision was due to her stance on China's human rights record, including its persecution of Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual group of which she is a practitioner.

"Lin has to pay a cost for being tangled with hostile forces against China", said the Global Times in an editorial by Shan Renping, a pen name for the editor of the newspaper, which has close ties to China's ruling Communist Party.

The actress, the paper added, cannot expect to "play up to her circle in Canada through defaming China and then strive to reach the broad mainland market".

Lin has said she believes Chinese authorities are concerned that she will use the Miss World contest, set to be televised live in China, as a platform to speak out on Beijing's rights record.

She has been more politically active than the run of the mill beauty queen, appearing in films denouncing China for its human rights abuses and testifying at a US Congressional hearing on religious persecution in China.

In July, she told lawmakers that she "wanted to speak for those in China that are beaten, burned and electrocuted for holding to their beliefs".

Lin claimed Chinese security agents also coerced her father, who lives in China, into pressuring her to abandon her human rights advocacy.

Being excluded from the contest should be a lesson to the beauty queen, said the Global Times, which is known for its fiery rhetoric.

"All performers should avoid being involved in radical political issues in the globalized times," the editorial said.