Woman Who Threw Eggs at Chinese VP Facing Forcible Repatriation From Germany

Mao Xinxin said she threw the eggs as a political protest, and will likely face official persecution on her return to China.
By Gao Feng
Woman Who Threw Eggs at Chinese VP Facing Forcible Repatriation From Germany Mao Xinxin, a Germany-based Chinese dissident, stages a solo protest against the Chinese Communist Party at an unidentified German railway station, Feb. 20, 2020.
Mao Xinxin

A Chinese woman who threw eggs at vice president Wang Qishan's motorcade during his 2019 trip to Germany is facing forcible repatriation after her application for political asylum was rejected, RFA has learned.

"A letter arrived on the 13th, and the repatriation order takes effect on the 17th," Mao Xinxin told RFA from her current home in Dusseldorf.

"It didn't say how long I was permitted to remain in Germany; just that the repatriation order takes effect on Sept. 17," she said.

The order comes despite an incident in which Mao and a group of other Chinese dissidents in exile threw the eggs and shouted "Down with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)!" on May 31, 2019, as Wang and his entourage visited the Chancellery in Berlin.

They were taken away by German police for questioning and later released.

"I spent two hours scouting out the terrain," Mao recalled. "I bought the eggs and waited for about one-and-a-half hours."

"Then Wang Qishan's motorcade arrived. I threw two eggs -- one at the door of his limousine and one in front of it. [Fellow activist] Li Fang threw four," she said.

She said the Chinese authorities would likely take a dim view of her actions if she returns to China.

"It's pretty big, given that he's the vice president of China," Mao said.

Mao, who hails from the northern Chinese province of Shaanxi, has been involved in rights activism in China for more than a decade, helping out jailed free speech activist Wu Gan and bringing food to jailed rights lawyer Yu Wensheng.

She also helped take care of the family of rights activist Zhai Yanmin, who was arrested during a nationwide crackdown on rights lawyers launched on July 9, 2015.

"To start with, I just hated injustice ... but then I gradually realized that things are so bad in China because of the one-party dictatorship," Mao told RFA.

"I led a pretty low-key life in China, and never went to meet up with [other activists]," she said. "It would have been a disaster for me to get locked up in a police station or prison when my kids were still young."

Mao was briefly detained by state security police after she tried to stage a public commemoration of the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen massacre in 2016, then put under surveillance.

The experience made her determined to leave China.

She arrived in Germany three years ago on a tourist visa, and immediately applied for political asylum, but the process turned out to be tortuous one.

"A lot of odd things happened ... including the Chinese interpreter who advised me while I was in the first refugee camp to give up my application," Mao said. "I didn't know him ... so why would he want to persuade me to give up this chance at asylum?"

Mao has been an outspoken critic of the CCP during her time in Germany, including holding up placards outside the Chinese consulate in support of the 2019 protest movement in Hong Kong.

Fellow activist Li Fang said he fears what will happen to Mao if she is sent back to China.

"She often does these protest activities alone on the street, outside embassies, or in other public places in Berlin," Li said. "I think she is a brave person, and a person of conscience, who is now facing deportation."

"This is dangerous; given what she has done in Germany alone, she is in danger of imprisonment if she is sent back to China," Li Fang. "The CCP will definitely retaliate over the Wang Qishan incident."

"The problem is that, if you offend China's highest-ranking leaders, the consequences are hard to predict."

Overseas members of the China Democracy Party (CDP), a political party banned by the CCP, issued a statement warning that if Mao Xinxin is repatriated, she will definitely be persecuted by the authorities.

The group called on the German government to review her application for political asylum on humanitarian grounds.

In 2018, Shanghai resident Dong Yaoqiong was sent for "compulsory treatment" after she streamed a live video of herself splashing ink on a poster of President Xi in protest at "authoritarian tyranny."

She was then committed as a psychiatric patient in a women's ward in Hunan's Zhuzhou No. 3 Hospital. Her father, Dong Jianbiao, who was detained when he tried to visit her, has suggested the authorities put extreme pressure on her mother to sign the committal papers.

Dong 's incarceration in the Zhuzhou No. 3 Hospital, a psychiatric institution, came after she accused the authorities of "persecutory brain control," an allegation some activists have said could be linked to attempts to disorient her through psychiatric medication or even technology.

"There is a portrait of Xi Jinping behind me," she said in the July 4 live streamed video protest. "What I want to say is that I am using my real name to oppose Xi Jinping's tyranny and dictatorship, and the oppressive brain control perpetrated on me by the Chinese Communist Party." She then threw the ink across Xi's image on the poster and shouted her slogans again.

Dong was later released from the hospital, but remains under close surveillance and unable to live freely, she said in a video clip posted briefly to social media in November 2020. Activists who helped her or campaigned on her behalf have also been targeted by the CCP's "stability maintenance" system.

Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.


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