HomeUncategorizedChina Still Harasses Dissidents Who Fled in the 1990's

China Still Harasses Dissidents Who Fled in the 1990’s

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Decades after fleeing China under the cloak of darkness and through the perilous waters of the South China Sea, Yan Xiong, a former political dissident, continues to feel the oppressive reach of Beijing. This chilling account, unveiled through BBC’s security correspondent Gordon Corera, paints a stark picture of relentless surveillance and pursuit by the Chinese government, three decades post-escape.

In the secretive operation named Yellow Bird, Yan, alongside other fugitives, was smuggled out of China in 1992. Hidden in a boat’s secret compartment, they narrowly escaped detection by a Chinese patrol vessel. Most aboard were seeking economic opportunities in Hong Kong, but Yan was fleeing for a different reason—his involvement in the pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, which were brutally suppressed by the Chinese military. Following the crackdown, Yan spent 19 months in a Chinese prison, suffering under harsh conditions for daring to challenge the Communist regime.

Upon his arrival in Hong Kong, Yan was immediately placed in detention, ostensibly for his protection, but more so to keep him from drawing attention. His escape was facilitated not by foreign intelligence but by a covert network within Hong Kong, comprising local entertainers and even organized crime groups like the triads, who had their own reasons for aiding dissidents.

The shadows continued to loom large over Yan’s life, even after relocating to the United States. His past as a protester placed him in the crosshairs once again when he decided to enter politics. Running for a congressional seat in New York in 2021, Yan experienced unsettling surveillance—strange vehicles trailing him, mysterious figures thwarting his public appearances. The FBI later informed him that these incidents were part of a campaign orchestrated by an individual in China, tasked with derailing his political ambitions by any means necessary.

This tale of enduring pursuit raises profound questions about the lengths to which authoritarian regimes will go to silence dissent, even beyond their borders. Yan’s ongoing ordeal underscores the dark realities faced by exiled dissidents and highlights the ongoing conflict between China’s authoritarian reach and the democratic values espoused in the West.

The full depth of this ongoing geopolitical struggle is explored in Gordon Corera’s series “Shadow War: China and the West,” available on BBC Sounds, shedding light on the intricate and often hidden tensions shaping the international landscape today.

https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/crgy7xypwj8o

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