• Wed
  • Sep 17, 2014
  • Updated: 6:10pm
NewsHong Kong

Long Hair Leung Kwok-hung flies back to Hong Kong after row at Shanghai airport

Pan-democrat returns to HK after dispute at airport, with two more flying back in support

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 April, 2014, 11:35pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 April, 2014, 12:59pm

A trip by Hong Kong lawmakers to Shanghai to meet state officials got off to a disastrous start yesterday, with three pan-democrats including "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung deciding to turn back soon after they arrived.

The remaining 11 pan-democrats decided to stay for the talks on political reform.

Leung, chairman of the League of Social Democrats, secured a last-minute ticket and returned to Hong Kong last night.

I hope the incident won't seriously affect the way the visit is being conducted
Jasper Tsang Yok-sing

He had arrived in Shanghai wearing a T-shirt bearing words in support of Tiananmen Mothers, a group formed by mothers whose children died in the 1989 crackdown.

Customs officers searched his luggage as he waited in a VIP lounge at the airport with the rest of the Hong Kong party.

He was then asked to surrender items he was carrying, including leaflets about the crackdown, several T-shirts with related slogans and a book on the Communist Party that is banned on the mainland. But Leung refused.

Other lawmakers attempted to mediate and Legco Secretariat staff sought help from the Hong Kong trade office in Shanghai.

After a stand-off of about 20 minutes, Leung decided to boycott the meeting and return to Hong Kong.

He boarded a flight back last night, according to Legco president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing and fellow pan-democrat Charles Mok, who both witnessed the confrontation.

The Labour Party's Cyd Ho Sau-lan and Peter Cheung Kwok-che also decided to return this morning in support of Leung.

But others from the pan-democratic camp decided to proceed with the trip.

Leung, who is usually barred from visiting the mainland, was among a group of 24 legislative councillors who arrived at Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 8.30pm.

The delegation is scheduled to meet state officials tomorrow to discuss electoral reform in Hong Kong, and Legco chief Tsang said he hoped the dispute would not affect the dialogue.

"It is regrettable and is a pity … I hope the incident won't seriously affect the way the visit is being conducted," Tsang said.

Moderate pan-democrat Frederick Fung Kin-kee, of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, said the incident had increased tensions between the pan-democrats and Beijing, but he and 10 others from the camp would remain.

"The main goal of this trip is to discuss the political reform with Beijing officials, which would be the first time in over 10 years … We treasure this opportunity …," Fung said.

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This article is now closed to comments

jmscscmp
Perhaps it's better for his quest not to make himself so conspicuous.
mercedes2233
Longhair should be adult enough to respect the laws of the countries he is about to enter. Australia bans animal and plant products, Tasmania bans apples, the US is sensitive about a lot of things. And try carrying drugs into Indonesia if you wish to be jailed or executed. He should be penalized for flouting the rules for entry into China. What a negative way to give up his chance for proper dialogue.
ramsay
We're comparing facts and freedom of speech to apples and oranges? How strange
sipsip1238
So what he just did was purposely stir up the issue, get sent back...and then get paid about 100k for the two weeks just to continue sitting around, complaining loudly, and never providing a solution.
keithkklau@gmail.com
.simply a calculated move for his own favour but at the end what can be achieved is to heal the media attention and retain his legco seat. as before, nothing tangible can be delivered.
meoii
Definitely a calculated move to get attention, he could have emailed the documents, couriered the t-shirts and wore them during the meetings. However getting caught doing so once within China’s borders, I doubt he’ll make it back.
paddyjr@gmail.com
As a local HKer, I am grateful for freedom of speech etc... But this guy is acting like a total brat
allan94
i think long hair should now go on a hunger strike to the death!
req
Better yet, why don't he burn himself in protest?
dharmakarma
if SCMP wants to purge my opinion for a comment for putting something that could be derogatory then you should stop covering a **** laughing in front page or let me enjoy my freedom of expression!

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