Australian Artist Raises Questions to the Director and Chief Secretary Concerning Her Being Barred from Entering Hong Kong
My flight arrived in Hong Kong at about 2 p.m. on August 22 (local time). I came for the opening ceremony of my art exhibit, which was to be held from August 23 to the 26. However, I was kept in custody at the arrivals area of the airport and later deported at about 7 p.m.
Upon my arrival at the Sydney International Airport early on the morning of August 23, a reporter told me that Hong Kong's Chief Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen was to meet with Hong Kong students in Australia at 4 p.m. that day. I therefore went to the meeting hall with my family, hoping to raise questions to Tsang Yam-Kuen regarding my being barred from entering Hong Kong.
The director of Hong Kong's Economic & Cultural Office in Australia and staff from the Chinese Consulate in Sydney were present at the meeting. Many people put up their hands and raised questions. When the chairman said that only two more questions were to be allowed, I raised my hand and stood up. The chairman intended to stop me, however, Tsang Yam-Kuen motioned to me to question. I said, "I am an Australian artist. I have been to over 70 cities in more than 20 countries for my personal exhibits. Unexpectedly, when I went to Hong Kong yesterday to host a personal exhibit, for no given reason I was barred from entering Hong Kong." At that moment, a man came over and took away my microphone. I kept talking without the microphone. And Tsang Yam-Kuen also motioned me to go on and said that he was able to answer my questions. So I went on, " Other countries' news media in Hong Kong called and interviewed me, concerned about the [integrity of the] 'One Country, Two Systems' policy. They also encouraged me and welcomed me to hold art exhibits in their countries, promising that there would be no trouble at all at their customs. Hong Kong news media are especially concerned about the present status of the 'One Country, Two Systems' policy. They urged me to raise the following questions to you: Why, as an artist, was I barred from entering Hong Kong for an exhibition of my paintings? When will Hong Kong truly embody its 'One Country, Two Systems' policy? I hope to return to Hong Kong as soon as possible for my exhibit. I don't want to disappoint my friends and others who are eager to visit my exhibition."
Although I did not mention that I am a Falun Gong practitioner, Tsang Yam-Kuen replied, "Falun Gong is legal in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a free place. Talking about the 'One Country, Two Systems' policy, Falun Gong is a good example. It embodies 'One Country, Two Systems.'" However, he could not make his statement valid concerning my refusal for entry to Hong Kong. Is it because I am a Falun Gong practitioner? But Falun Gong is legal in Hong Kong, in addition to Hong Kong having the 'One Country, Two Systems' policy. How can it be reasonably explained?
August 27, 2002