Many leaders of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 — a student-led movement that resulted in mass bloodshed after PLA troops opened fire — fled China via Hong Kong, most notably among them were Chai Ling and Wuer Kaixi. They were assisted by an “underground railroad” code-named Operation Yellowbird that successfully smuggled hundreds of dissidents out of China by speedboats with the help of Hong Kong activists, businessmen, mob bosses, people smugglers and Western diplomats. Both student leaders were holed up in various places in the territory before traveling onto France and the U.S.
PHOTOS: Top 10 Most Influential Protests
Next Thaksin Shinawatra