By Erik Crouch
Image via South China Morning Post
You know the story: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy proposes to girl while getting arrested for protest over disputed islands in the South China Sea. It’s been a while since the Diaoyu islands dispute made headlines, and this time it’s tale of love and romance. Two Diaoyu protesters were arrested at a Shenzhen bus terminal for their activist trouble-making and illegal border crossings; as police whisked them away, boyfriend Yang Kuang proposed marriage, using the officers as witnesses.
South China Morning Post reports:
Liu became quiet for a moment [when he proposed]. “Then she told the policemen to be our witnesses. She said ‘yes’, and a policeman congratulated us. There was some scuffle in the car earlier when they tried to grab our phones, so I didn’t expect it would be such a romantic moment.”
They met in Sichuan last month, when Yang was contacting Diaoyus activists. He had landed on the Diaoyu Islands last August to assert Chinese sovereignty against the Japanese.
They soon organised activities together and realised they clicked. Liu said, “Just half an hour after I saw him, I felt like I had seen through him. He’s brave, skilful and pure.”[…]
Now, the newly engaged couple will face a rough path ahead. Mainland authorities have used various tactics to break up activist couples, such as sending them to labour camps. The pair also live on opposite sides of the border.
This may be a long engagement, but if Yang (who is currently back in Hong Kong, after being deported from China) can make the journey back, their campaign of Diaoyu-lovin’ may soon resume.