Hong Kong's Director of Immigration, Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, was probably not the only person to heave a sigh of relief when the news came that Wang Bingzhang had been arrested in the United States for using a fake passport. When he was turned away from Hong Kong two weeks ago, many people believed it was for political reasons. A local group connected with Chinese dissidents told the press that the SAR Government was taking Beijing's orders. No one questioned how the group came by this information. Mr Wang categorically denied the Immigration Department's explanation that he was refused entry because of problems with his travel documents. He told the media he was travelling on a perfectly legal passport issued by the US Government, and expressed indignation and disappointment with the SAR Government for bowing to pressure from Beijing. The well-known Chinese exile also made some startling revelations about his intended business in Hong Kong. He was coming to meet dissidents who had arrived in Hong Kong from many parts of China to discuss with them plans for organising anti-communist movements in the mainland. According to Mr Wang, the mainland dissidents were receiving training in Hong Kong, learning to make use of modern technology in their democracy campaign. His swaggering could be taken as corroboration for the accusation that Hong Kong is being used as a base for anti-Chinese activities. To make matters worse, he suggested Taipei was involved. Mr Wang seemed not to care that his imprudence would jeopardise local Hong Kong organisations. When asked whether the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic and Democratic Movements in China had anything to do with the 'training' he mentioned, he said the alliance did not 'directly participate', insinuating indirect involvement. This prompted a statement from the alliance disclaiming any connection with Mr Wang and his associates. On his return to the US, Mr Wang was arrested and charged with passport forgery. Few would believe the American Government had taken action against Mr Wang in compliance with instructions from Beijing, and Mr Wang no longer insisted on the authenticity of his American passport. Instead, he tried to win sympathy by claiming he had to use the forged document to travel around organising dissident groups. So Mr Wang lied about his passport. The remaining question is how much truth is contained in the rest of what he said about his abortive visit to Hong Kong. If, as he alleged, there have always been mainland activists attending training courses in Hong Kong, no case has been reported of anyone getting into trouble in his hometown after completing these courses. However, if Chinese officials take Mr Wang's remarks seriously, they will probably keep a closer eye on any suspicious people returning to the mainland after a dubious stay in Hong Kong. Mr Wang failed to enter the SAR because his papers were not in order. Beijing can legitimately ask: how many of Mr Wang's associates have successfully entered the SAR with good passports, and what activities have they been carrying out here in collaboration with their connections in other parts of the country? Those who prematurely criticised the SAR Government for refusing entry to Mr Wang for political reasons should reconsider their position. If Mr Wang had come with a genuine American passport, ostentatiously announcing his anti-Beijing campaign as the purpose for his visit, should he have been allowed to stay? No matter which side you belong to, it is best to regard the whole episode as a farce.