U.S. ‘deeply concerned’ by detention of Swedish citizen in China

Reuters Staff January 28, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Saturday that it was deeply concerned that a Swedish citizen and Hong Kong-based bookseller, Gui Minhai, had been detained in China and called for him to be allowed to leave the country.

The Swedish government has said that Gui, who has published books on the personal lives of President Xi Jinping and other Communist Party leaders, was taken into custody last week while traveling with Swedish diplomats to seek medical treatment in Beijing.

The European Union’s ambassador to China has called on the Chinese authorities to release Gui immediately, echoing demands from Stockholm.

“We are deeply concerned that Swedish citizen Gui Minhai was detained,” State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

“We call on Chinese authorities to explain the reasons and legal basis for Mr. Gui’s arrest and detention, disclose his whereabouts, and allow him freedom of movement and the freedom to leave China,” she said.

The United States and European allies would continue to promote “greater respect for human rights in China,” she said.

Asked this week about the Swedish and EU demands for Gui’s release, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman described the appeals as “baseless.”

Gui had been abducted in Thailand while on holiday in 2015, one of five Hong Kong booksellers who went missing that year and later appeared in custody on mainland China. The four others have returned to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with a guarantee of wide-ranging freedoms, including freedom of speech, but critics accuse Communist Party rulers in Beijing of creeping interference in the city’s affairs.

Chinese authorities said Gui was freed in October after serving a two-year sentence for a traffic-related crime in 2003.

Gui’s daughter Angela told Radio Sweden he was taken off a train by plainclothes police while en route to the capital to get medical attention for a neurological ailment.

Sweden’s Foreign Ministry has twice summoned China’s ambassador to Stockholm to explain the situation.

Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Source: Reuters “U.S. ‘deeply concerned’ by detention of Swedish citizen in China”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

3 Comments on “U.S. ‘deeply concerned’ by detention of Swedish citizen in China”

  1. johnleecan says:

    It is the American and Swedish governments and their allies who all planned this scenario. They convinced Gui Minhai to write some fictional stories re China’s leaders and that they are all behind him and he will be handsomely paid. That’s why the Swedish diplomats accompanied him assuring his safety but in reality, he was used. After this, the western governments will use this to demonize China and destroy its image.

    When Hong Kong was returned to China, there wasn’t any guarantee of wide ranging freedoms. The same freedoms that were denied by the British government to Hongkies during British occupation.

    Critics who accuse China of interfering Hong Kong affairs are not even citizens of Hong Kong or China. They are foreign agents.


  2. Btan says:

    This bookseller Gui Minhai is actually a pornographer who writes lewd fictional stories of Chinas leaders.
    This is actually defamation of Chinese leaders done without evidence whatsoever.
    In Europe he would have been sued for millions of dollars and possibly face a jail term.
    China is actually being kind to him by putting him in house arrest. He will eventually be released.


  3. alking1957 says:

    Why is he trying to get treatment in Beijing if he is a Swedish citizen? Is Swedish medical facilities and doctors no good compared to Those in China? Really?