Chinese Activist Makes Jet Ski Escape to South Korea

Jet skiing across choppy waters to South Korea is undoubtedly one of the most extreme escape attempts witnessed in recent times

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5:29 PM HKT, Fri August 25, 2023 1 mins read

A Chinese activist was picked up in South Korea after a fleeing on a jet ski from Shandong province, covering a distance of nearly 200 miles.

The South Korean coast guard reported that Kwon Pyong, wearing a helmet and a life jacket, was picked up after getting stuck in the Yellow Sea with a pair of binoculars and a compass. Kwon had towed five barrels of fuel from Shandong province behind his 1800cc jet ski.

“He refilled the petrol on the ride and dumped the empty barrels into the sea,” the coast guard said, adding that Pyong had called for help after he became stuck in tidal flats near the western port of Incheon.

Kwon Pyong, who is of Korean ethnicity and has the Mandarin name Quan Ping, had previously been jailed for criticizing China’s government. The Chinese Embassy of South Korea declined to comment, stating that it has no relevant information about the case.

Escape attempts by activists are not a new phenomenon. Just last month, prominent human rights lawyer Lu Siwei was arrested in Laos and subsequently returned to China before he could make it to his destination in the United States.

Still, jet skiing across choppy waters to South Korea is undoubtedly one of the most daring and extreme escape attempts witnessed in recent times.

“While [Kwon’s] means of entry into South Korea in violation of the law was wrong, surveillance of the Chinese authorities and political persecution of Kwon since 2016 are behind his life-risking crossing into South Korea,” said South Korea-based campaigner Lee Dae-seon, from the non-profit organization Dialogue China.

Lee added that Kwon is now contemplating his application for political asylum, preferably in the United States, Britain, or Canada, and that he had previously attended university in Iowa.

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