Connect with us


Hong Kong says China not involved in case of missing booksellers



Hong Kong says China not involved in case of missing booksellers | Thaiger


– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Hong Kong says “no indication” China involved in case of missing booksellers
Phuket Gazette / Reuters

PHUKET: Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying said on Monday he was “highly concerned” about the disappearance of five booksellers specializing in publications critical of China, while playing down speculation one may have been abducted by Chinese agents.

The disappearances have stoked fears of mainland Chinese authorities using shadowy tactics that erode the “one country, two systems” formula under which the former British colony has been governed since its return to Chinese rule in 1997.

Lee Bo, 65, a shareholder of Causeway Bay Books, “vanished” last week, according to a missing person report filed by Lee’s wife on Thursday. Four associates involved in publishing or selling literature critical of Beijing have also gone missing in mysterious circumstances over the past few months.

Hong Kong opposition lawmakers protested on Sunday outside Beijing’s representative office over Lee’s disappearance.

“We are highly concerned with this case,” said Beijing-backed Hong Kong leader Leung. He added there was “no indication” so far that Lee may have been kidnapped by Chinese State Security agents in the financial hub and whisked across the border to China, though investigations were ongoing.

“If mainland (Chinese) law enforcement personnel enforce the law in Hong Kong, this is unacceptable because it breaches the Basic Law,” Leung said, referring to the city’s mini-constitution, in rare comments defending Hong Kong’s autonomy against over-reaching by Beijing.

The Basic Law guarantees wide-ranging personal freedoms, including broad freedom of speech, and independent law enforcement.

Lee’s wife told media that her husband had phoned her on what appeared to be a Chinese phone number to say he was “assisting” in an investigation, despite having left his travel document at home.

Three of the missing men were last seen late last year in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

Another man, Gui Minhai, the author of tabloid-style exposes on Chinese leaders and the owner of Mighty Current, the publishing house that owns the Causeway Bay bookstore, was last seen publicly in the Thai seaside town of Pattaya.

Beijing’s Liaison Office and the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, a branch of China’s highest administrative authority, the State Council, did not respond to requests for comment.

Lee Cheuk-yan, a pro-democracy lawmaker, said that while Hong Kong officials had sought information from Chinese law enforcement agencies over the case, they had yet to respond, showing a clear “failing” in the reporting and communication mechanism between both sides.

Senior Hong Kong officials appealed for more information from the public and said Hong Kong police had been deepening their probe, including reviewing CCTV footage and interviewing more people.

“We should give time to the police to conduct their investigation,” said acting security secretary, John Lee.

— Phuket Gazette Editors


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand7 hours ago

Woman smashes up her 1.5 million baht car over feud with Ford Thailand

Bangkok9 hours ago

1.8 billion baht in donations at the Erawan shrine in 2022

Phuket10 hours ago

Phuket welcomes 4 million tourists in 8 months

Sponsored2 days ago

From regulation to cannabis delivery, here’s what you need to know about cannabis in Thailand

Tourism10 hours ago

Carnival Magic theme park opens in Phuket to fanfare

Video10 hours ago

Ask the Thais | Stereotypes, Racial Profiling, and Discrimination

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Thailand watching BQ.1.1 variant as Covid rules ease

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand11 hours ago

Military conscription in Russia could benefit Thailand’s economy

Economy12 hours ago

Economists foresee 38 baht to 1 US dollar this year

Thailand14 hours ago

Nine people hospitalised by chemical leak in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Thailand15 hours ago

Scams in Thailand – Common scams in Thailand to watch out for!

Expats15 hours ago

Beauty queen seeking asylum will not be sent to Myanmar

Weather15 hours ago

Tropical Storm Noru is about to hit Thailand

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Covid-19 arrival screenings to be dropped October 1

Crime1 day ago

Thai man ‘does not regret’ death of ‘crazy’ son who stabbed grandma in the genitals

Thailand1 day ago

Schoolgirl raped in a school dormitory in front of friends

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11