Human Rights Advocate, Award-winning Actress, and Miss World Canada 2015 and 2016
Anastasia Lin is an award-winning actress, beauty pageant titleholder, and human rights advocate. In 2015, Lin won the Miss World Canada title, and was to represent Canada at the Miss World pageant in China. However, she was refused a visa and declared a persona non grata by Chinese authorities for her outspoken views on the country’s human rights violations and persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. The news of her rejection—and subsequent attempt to enter China—caused global media attention for weeks, leading to a front page article in The New York Times and op-eds in major newspapers. Since then, “media outlets the world over have sought out Lin to discuss her viewpoints on China’s abuse of its citizens’ freedoms and rights” (Quartz). She has been invited to speak at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, the Oxford Union, and the Geneva Human Rights Summit at the UN, and has testified in the US Congress, the UK Parliament, and the Taiwanese Legislative Assembly.
Lin has been listed as one of the “Top 25 under 25” by MTV, a “Top 60 under 30” by Flare, and called “The Badass Beauty Queen” by Marie Claire. She was one of eleven stakeholders selected to meet with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird upon the establishment of Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, and other major publications.
Anastasia Lin’s Fight for Human Rights and Freedoms in China
In 2015, the Communist Party of China prevented Anastasia Lin from entering the country as Miss World Canada—and began to threaten her father, still a resident of Hunan—as a response to her public stand against human rights violations. Unsurprisingly, this triggered a flurry of media attention: how could an enormous state like China be so intimidated by a young beauty pageant contestant from Toronto? And what was so controversial about Lin’s opinions?
Despite China’s intimidation tactics, Lin remains outspoken, and defiant. A remarkable advocate for human rights—full of bravery, poise, and undeniable passion—Lin cuts through confusion and propaganda to talk on the real story of state-sanctioned corruption. In particular, Lin speaks out against the abuse of peaceful Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans, and the Uyghurs community; the physical and psychological torture—and covert organ harvesting—of political prisoners; and the government’s ongoing repression of pro-democratic organizers. She uses her platform amplify the voices of crushed dissidents to shine a spotlight on bias, cover-up, and conspiracy. To watch Lin is to witness a woman of rare commitment: someone who, quite literally, is risking far more than most of us ever will to make a principled stand.
This is a must-see keynote for all groups concerned with freedom and liberty. As she says, with characteristic lucidity: “Freedom comes when we stop accepting tyranny and challenge those who would preserve it.”
What the West Needs to Know, and Do
Modern China—the world’s most populous nation, and the next major superpower. But for all its progress, it’s also a nation of unresolved conflict. Today, western groups looking to do business there need to ask a number of important questions: Is it a safe place to invest resources or capital? Will your rights and assets be protected? And will it continue to transform for the better, or will it face even greater instability in the coming years?
In this talk, Anastasia Lin tells the story of the real China—an enormously complex place that refuses tidy summation. She explores the nation’s slowing economy, endangered by artificial inflation: a bubble poised to burst in a disastrous way. She talks on record levels of pollution and environmental hazards that, in many areas, make life literally toxic. She speaks on widespread state oppression, secrecy, and religious persecution. And she stresses the need for outside organizations—medical groups, universities, corporations, film studios, and more—to pressure the Chinese government into cleaning up its human rights act.
Ultimately, doing business in China means getting educated. And for Anastasia Lin, it also means, for now, exercising some reasonable caution.
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