China will not allow in the Miss World entrant of Canada, Anastasia Lin, because of her vocal opinions regarding Chinese political repression. Lin has been declared “unwelcome” in China, and she will therefore not be able to travel to the country in order to compete in the world championships. The contest is currently underway in the resort of Sanya.
Lin had been waiting for China to grant her a visa, despite the fact that the deadline had already passed on November 20. Besides competing in beauty pageants, Lin is also a 25 year old actress and a graduate of the University of Toronto.
Lin was quite vocal about the human-rights record of China during her campaign. She was named Miss World for Canada in May, making her eligible for the current contest. However, there was much speculation that China would refuse to grant the contestant a visa because of her comments.
Representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa have confirmed the decision. They have said that it is part of the Chinese sovereign prerogative.
Spokesperson for the embassy Yunghong Yang said, “I simply do not understand why some people pay special attention to this matter and have raised it repeatedly.”
Lin has not yet commented on the matter.
The Miss World website still lists Lin as a contestant, although her photo has been removed. Officials from Miss World have stated that they will allow Lin to retain her title for 2016 and compete in next year’s contest in South Korea.
As part of her comments, Lin heavily criticized the Chinese persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual group. Lin herself is a practitioner of this group. Various human rights organizations have said that thousands of group members have been detailed and killed in forced labor camps. The Chinese government has banned this group, calling it a “cult organization”.
When Russia hosted Miss World in 2013, the country refused to issue visas for contestants from countries that it did not formally recognize, such as Kosovo.