China stops trade union leader coming home: Labour organiser and Tiananmen activist 'flung out' on his return after a year abroad faces deportation from colony China stops trade union leader coming home

A LEADING Chinese trade union activist who tried to return home after a year in the United States was literally thrown out of China last weekend after public security officers told him he was not welcome in his own country.

China's decision swiftly to expel Han Dongfang 36 hours after his return leaves Hong Kong with the difficult decision of what to do with Mr Han, a leader of the Tiananmen Square protests, when his visa to the colony runs out next weekend.

Mr Han said yesterday in Hong Kong: 'Maybe it will take me 100 attempts to get back to my country, but that is my intention.' He said he would seek to re-enter China 'by any legal means possible' and would not apply for an extension of his seven-day Hong Kong transit visa. Chinese immigrants who are in the colony illegally are deported to the mainland.

Mr Han, 30, joined the Chinese National Railways in 1984 and in May 1989 organised the Peking Workers Autonomous Federation, the first independent trade union since 1949. He was active in the Tiananmen demonstrations and spent nearly two years in jail, where he contracted a virulent form of tuberculosis. The government released him on medical grounds and dropped charges against him. In September Mr Han was allowed, with his pregnant wife, to go to the US for treatment, but he vowed then to return home within a year.

The last thing Peking wants is any hint of an organised independent labour movement as it struggles to rein in the economy. China's state enterprise workers face an uncertain future as economic reforms erode the guaranteed benefits of a planned economy, and there are signs of factory-floor unrest. Inflation is hurting workers and peasants who see a huge wealth gap opening up with China's new rich.

Mr Han said yesterday he was 'not a confrontational person'. Just over a week ago he flew to Hong Kong from the US, travelling on a Chinese passport. On Friday he took a boat to a small entry point in Guangdong province where he passed through customs without any hitch and travelled to Canton city, en route to Peking.

At 6am on Saturday, about 10 Public Security Bureau officials barged into his hotel room in Canton. Mr Han said the officers accused him of activities aimed at subverting the Chinese government. Mr Han told them to arrest him if he was a criminal, but not to deport him. When he told them Hong Kong would not accept him without an onward ticket, they took dollars 1,000 ( pounds 685) from his luggage and bought him a ticket to Switzerland.

'As they were escorting me away, I cried out as a protest: 'I want to return to my own country, why am I not allowed to do this?' A policeman put his hand over my mouth, his fingers in my mouth to silence me,' Mr Han said, showing scratches to his face.

He was driven south to the main Lowu border crossing point and was 'virtually flung' out of the car. 'As that happened I grabbed hold of the railings . . . police came over and began to beat on my hands.

'I said: 'This is my own country, why can't I stay here?' One policeman said: 'Well this country of ours doesn't want you, you're not welcome.' ' Mr Han said he was 'flung' into the border transit section, just as the crossing point was closed.

On Sunday morning he tried again to enter China and soldiers blocked his way. Mr Han said he would continue to work for independent labour representation in China. 'In China the reality is that conflict between labour and capital is becoming more intense. The situation in many sectors of the working population is very poor indeed . . . (It) will inevitably produce active resistance and struggle.'

Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?