June 20, 2024

The escaped dissident still pursued decades on by China

The escaped dissident still pursued decades on by China

The escaped dissident still pursued decades on by China

By Gordon Corera,Security correspondent BBC
May 11th, 2024

Three decades ago, Chinese dissidents were being smuggled out of the country in a secret operation called Yellow Bird – but as one of them tells the BBC, Beijing is still pursuing them.

June 1992: It was the middle of the night on the South China Sea, and a Chinese patrol vessel was approaching a boat en route from the Communist mainland to the then-British colony of Hong Kong.

As border troops came on board to talk to the crew, their voices could be heard by a group of people packed into a secret compartment below deck.

A few minutes earlier, when the patrol boat was spotted, these secret passengers had been given an urgent order.

“I was told to hide,” one of them, Yan Xiong, recalls. “Don’t make any noise!”

Most of those hiding were economic migrants, hoping to find work in Hong Kong – but not Yan.

He was a political dissident, and if he was discovered, he would be in serious trouble.

Yan was being smuggled out of China as part of a secret operation code-named Yellow Bird.

The patrol eventually sailed away, and in the early hours Yan – who had never travelled in a boat before that night – arrived in Hong Kong.

After a hearty breakfast, he was taken to a detention centre. This was, he was told, for his own safety. Walking the streets could be dangerous.

Read Full Article

About Author

BBC NEWS