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A dissident who mocked Xi Jinping online fled China on a jet ski and crossed 300 kilometers of sea to reach South Korea

  • A Chinese activist embarked on a journey of more than 300 kilometers across the sea to flee China.

  • According to AFP, he used a jet ski and a compass to reach the South Korean city of Incheon.

  • The man was a critic of Chinese President Xi Jinping and spent time in prison for subversion.

A critic of Chinese leader Xi Jinping managed to flee the country and traveled more than 300 kilometers by jet ski to South Korea, according to the Agence France-Presse.

The man crossed the Yellow Sea, located between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula, on a 1,800cc jet ski, AFP reported.

He departed from eastern China’s Shandong province and used binoculars and a compass to chart his course for South Korea, the news agency said.

The man has been identified as Kwon Pyong, a Chinese activist who spent time in prison for subversion after posting photos mocking Xi on social media, Lee Dae-seon of the NGO Dialogue China said, per AFP.

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During his journey, Kwon carried five barrels of fuel, according to AFP.

“He filled up with gas along the way and dumped the empty barrels into the sea,” the Korean Coast Guard said on Tuesday, according to AFP.

An image from the Korean Coast Guard shows the jet ski entering South KoreaThe Korean Coast Guard

The Korean Coast Guard said in a press release that the man, whom it did not identify, was stranded on mudflats near a cruise terminal in Incheon last Wednesday evening.

It said the man had called emergency services to ask for help. The Coast Guard added that the military had already warned it that the ship was entering South Korean waters before the call was made.

The Korean Coast Guard rescued the man and arrested him on charges of “attempting to smuggle himself into Incheon but said there was no evidence he was a spy, AFP reported.

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Kwon is now considering whether to apply for refugee status in South Korea, which only grants asylum to a limited number of refugees each year. Alternatively, he could go to a third country, says Lee of the NGO Dialogue China, according to AFP.

“Although his way of entering South Korea was wrong, contrary to the law, surveillance by Chinese authorities and political persecution of Kwon since 2016 have led to his perilous crossing to South Korea,” Lee said. to the press office.

The Korean Coast Guard Station Incheon could not be reached for comment because it was out of business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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