Chow, 23, was one of the activists and personalities arrested this week under a controversial new security law imposed by China’s government.
Under the controversial legislation, the young woman was charged with “collusion with foreign forces” and, if convicted, could face life imprisonment.
Although she was released on bail on Wednesday, her arrest and indictment generated a wave of support on social media, where she is called as the old heroine who was brought to the big screen by Disney.
Why do they call it the “new Mulan”?
Mulan is the central character of an ancient Chinese legend who became popular worldwide after the 1998 film and tells the story of a young woman who disguises he himself as a man so he can fight to save his family and country.
This year a new version of the film will be released, the lead role of which is played by Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei.
And this is where the movie becomes a political theme.
For much of last year, Hong Kong protesters calling for democratic reforms were involved in increasingly violent clashes with riot police, who were accused of using excessive force.
Liu Yifei showed support to Hong Kong police.
It was then that the actress shared on the social network Weibo a publication of the official Chinese newspaper People’s Daily which read, in Chinese: “I also support the Hong Kong police. Now they can attack me.”
Pro-democracy protesters quickly began criticizing Liu, accusing her of supporting police brutality, while people close to the Chinese government expressed support for the actress.
From then on, social media began to compare Liu and Chow, considering the activist to be the true representation of a heroine who got into a fight.
“Agnes Chow should be the real Mulan. It’s much better than Liu, who [apoya] Hong Kong’s police brutality. She is brave and willing to fight for freedom,” said one user.
Chow, who speaks fluent Japanese, also has many followers in Japan, and some Japanese media refer to her as the “Goddess of Democracy.”
How was your political career?
Chow has been active in Hong Kong politics from an early age and joined at just 15 years old a youth-led movement protesting against plans to implement “moral and national education” in public schools.
Students feared that the kind of heavily censored education used in mainland China would advance.
They organized large protests and the plan was eventually postponed indefinitely.
It was during these protests that Chow met the popular activist Joshua Wong.
Many have begun calling for a boycott of the new Disney film.
Both became key figures in the Umbrella Movement, a series of protests in 2014 that required the city to be able to elect its own leader.
The protests were unsuccessful, but they created a new generation of young political leaders.
Chow, Wong and Nathan Law, another activist, founded the pro-democracy Demosisto party in 2016.
How did you pursue your political career?
In 2018, Chow attempted to run for local elections; he renounced his British citizenship to do so and postponed his final university exams.
But his nomination was rejected because the authorities considered that he supported Hong Kong’s “self-determination.”
“The most important question was not whether I could run for the next election, but whether the most basic rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong can be protected,” he said then, according to a newspaper report South China Morning Post.
In 2019 mass protests broke out in Hong Kong following an extradition bill that would allow suspects of some crimes to be tried in mainland China.
In August of that year, Chow was arrested for allegedly participating and inciting an unauthorized meeting at Hong Kong police headquarters in early June.
Other prominent pro-democracy figures, such as Joshua Wong and Andy Chan, were also arrested.
Agnes Chow and Joshua Wong are two leading figures in the protests.
Then, on June 30 of this year, the new security law came into force.
Some political activists, such as Law, chose to flee Hong Kong for fear of being imprisoned by Beijing.
Chow, together with Wong, they announced that they were retiring from Demosisto, which was then dissolved, but chose to stay in Hong Kong.
Earlier this week, the young woman was arrested in a security operation alongside other prominent figures, such as media mogul Jimmy Lai.
Agnes Chow was arrested this week.
Under the new law, it is illegal to protest against China’s central government and the Hong Kong regional.
The legislation criminalizes any act of secession, subversion and collusion “with foreign or external forces”.
In a Statement on Facebook, Chow said this latest arrest had been the most “terrifying” yet.
“I’ve been arrested four times and this was the scariest. But even at the police station, I can still hear through my lawyers the love and worry everyone has for me,” he said.
“The road [por delante] it’s hard. Take care.”