Hong Kong Students Denied Entry to China

November 15, 2014 Updated: November 15, 2014

HONG KONG—Three student representatives that intended to fly to Beijing to present their case for greater democracy to the Chinese Communist Party were turned away at the Hong Kong airport on Saturday.

Alex Chow, the secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, and his deputies Eason Chung and Nathan Law, had planned to make the trip to Beijing for at least a week. They chose to delay the journey until after the APEC meetings in the Chinese capital were concluded on Nov. 11, and tried to secure a middleman, trusted by the Communist Party, to broker their visit.

It appeared that no takers came forward to act as intermediary, and Chinese officials had no intention of meeting them—or even letting them onto the plane.

A crowd of close to one hundred, plus police, gathered at the airport to watch the scene as the students were turned away from the gate. Those who came in support stood in a line with their yellow umbrellas and signs saying “I want universal suffrage.”

“We just received notification from the relevant agency inside China that your entry permit has been refused,” a man, apparently associated with Cathay Pacific, their carrier, was quoted saying on TVB News, a local Hong Kong station.

The Chinese Communist Party’s Public Security Bureau controls the entry and exit administration.

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong citizens, mostly young people and students, have taken over key roads around government offices for six weeks now, expressing frustration at attempts by central Chinese authorities to limit the democratic process in Hong Kong.