A Chinese human rights activist and critic of President Xi Jinping has attempted to escape to South Korea in an unusual fashion. Several foreign media reported that he traveled up to 300 kilometers on a jet ski. He was jailed in his country years ago for mocking its leader, according to a South Korean activist who spoke to Reuters on Wednesday.
A Chinese activist reportedly traveled 300km north on an 1,800cc jet ski across the Yellow Sea. It was carrying binoculars, a compass and five liters of fuel and was stuck outside a shipping terminal off the western port of Incheon.
The 30-year-old Chinese were arrested on August 16 when they tried to smuggle them into the west coast city, the Korean Coast Guard said. Authorities have not identified the man arrested. Reuters could not immediately reach him and a Chinese embassy press officer declined to comment.
Jailed in 2017?
According to South Korean activist Lee Tae-seon, Kwon Pyong is a Chinese activist jailed in China in 2016 after posting a selfie on social media wearing a T-shirt with slogans mocking President Xi.
He was jailed in 2017 for “using words, images and videos to insult and slander the government and the socialist system of this country” on social media, US-based media outlet Radio Free Asia said.
“It seems he decided to flee after feeling political pressure,” said Lee Tae-seon, who said he met Kwon Pyeong at his detention center on Tuesday. “He is now considering seeking asylum in a third country,” he said on his website, describing himself as an international solidarity activist and head of the Seoul office of the group “Dialogue China”.
A South Korean coast guard official said the detainee made no mention of asylum or asylum during interrogation.
Due to stricter restrictions imposed by Beijing in recent years, many countries have decided to no longer welcome Chinese activists leaving the country. The Coast Guard described the man’s escape as “one of the most extreme in modern times.”
The Chinese stowaway, Lee Tae-seon, appeared to be in good health after his 14-hour jet ski trip, according to South Korean media.
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