Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Hong Kong Activist Agnes Chow Declared ‘Wanted’ By Communist Police

Darren Maung
Darren is an aspiring writer who wishes to share or create stories to the world and bring humanity together as one. A massive Star Wars nerd and history buff, he finds enjoyable, heart-warming or interesting subjects in any written media.
Published: February 20, 2024
Since she is standing up to the Chinese regime for the autonomy of Hong Kong, people have started calling Agnes Chow the ‘real’ Mulan. (Image: wikimedia / CC0 1.0)

On Feb. 8, Hong Kong police designated pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow as a “wanted person” for jumping bail and escaping to Canada. Chinese communist authorities have vowed that they will “pursue her for life.”

Speaking at a round-up on Hong Kong’s law, Andrew Kan Kai-yan, deputy police commissioner of the city’s national security, announced Chow’s wanted status after she had officially skipped bail.

“I want to emphasize that absconding is a shameful act and anyone who has fled should not delude themselves that they can elude criminal responsibility by leaving Hong Kong,” Kan said, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

“Unless Chow surrenders to the police, she will be pursued for life,” he said.

“No fugitive should imagine they can evade criminal prosecution by absconding or leaving Hong Kong,” Kan told journalists in comments reported on by the state-owned Wen Wei Po and Beijing’s official police account on Weibo.

Chow was first arrested by police for “illegal assembly” connected to protests outside the headquarters of Hong Kong’s police in June 2019. She was later granted bail and obtained a permit to travel from the authorities. However, she then announced that she was considering fleeing to Canada.

After being caught working with activist Joshua Wong, she was rearrested in 2020 under the national security law for alleged “collusion with foreign forces,” forcing her to a “patriotic ‘study trip’” to mainland China under heavy surveillance. 

It was also during this time that her political party Demosisto was dissolved as the national security law was enacted.

In a post on Instagram, Chow said she had to go to Shenzhen with police to retrieve her passport, which was taken after she was banned from travel.

She was allowed to study in Canada on the condition that she would report to the police by the end of 2023. She was also warned that if she did fail to do so, she would be placed on the wanted list.

Though Chow was well aware of the dangers, she remained adamant that she would seek freedom abroad. After leaving Hong Kong, she also announced that she would not return home.


Freedom in Canada

Despite her announcement being a viral hit, Chow revealed in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun that it was “a last-moment decision.”

According to Chow, when she went to Shenzhen, she was not allowed to tell anyone that she was going to the city, so she was left unprotected as she traveled to the mainland. There, she had to visit the Reform and Opening-up Exhibition, which celebrated the CCP’s “achievements.” She was also told to visit the headquarters of Tencent.

“There were some other events, but those were the two visits that I felt had a political overtone,” she told Asahi Shimbun.

When she was asked if she had already decided not to return to Hong Kong, Chow said she initially only just “wanted to go overseas,” hoping to participate in a master’s degree program. But once Hong Kong fell under the national security law, the activist made her choice to remain in Canada.

“I just wanted to live freely and safely. For the sake of my freedom, I decided not to return,” she said.

However, Chow remains on alert, developing post-traumatic stress disorder from every knock on her door, even from Uber Eats couriers. When asked if she feels any danger in Canada, she replied, “Nothing yet, but I am worried. I don’t go out alone as a precaution.”

Despite her concerns, she remains hopeful to live a life away from fear, citing the manga “Attack on Titan” as an inspiration for her pursuit of freedom.

China’s ‘long reach’

After she had fled to Canada, Chow became the 14th activist on the government’s wanted list to have escaped China. The police placed a bounty for information regarding the arrests of these 14 activists, though Kan did not say if Chow’s amounted to HK$1 million (US$128,000) like the others.

Several of the activists already shared their stories discreetly with State Department officials in Washington, in the hopes of inspiring sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials responsible for their draconian hold on the people.

According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), Daniel Kritenbrink, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said, “We call on Hong Kong authorities to immediately cease all efforts to intimidate people in Hong Kong and around the world, including those who call the U.S. home.”