The EU ambassador to China yesterday said he expects Chinese authorities to immediately release Swedish citizen and Hong Kong-based bookseller Gui Minhai (桂民海), echoing demands from Stockholm.
Sweden confirmed on Tuesday that Gui, who has published books on the personal lives of Chinese Communist Party leaders, was taken into custody at the weekend while traveling with Swedish diplomats to seek medical treatment in Beijing.
EU Ambassador to China Hans Dietmar Schweisgut told reporters at a briefing that the EU “fully supports” Sweden’s efforts to resolve the issue with China.
“We expect the Chinese authorities to immediately release Gui Minhai from detention and to allow him to reunite with his family, to get consulate support and medical support in line with his rights, because he is a Swedish citizen and also a citizen of the European Union,” Schweisgut said.
Gui was abducted in Thailand while on holiday in 2015, one of five Hong Kong booksellers who went missing that year and later appeared in custody in China. The four others have returned to Hong Kong.
Chinese authorities said Gui was freed in October last year after serving a two-year sentence for a traffic offense in 2003.
The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an earlier statement that, before Gui’s latest detention, it had been “repeatedly assured” by Chinese authorities that Gui was a free man and that it could “have any contact” with him.
It has said it expects China to release Gui so that he can meet diplomatic and medical staff, and has also twice summoned China’s ambassador to Sweden to explanation the situation.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday said it had no specific information on Gui, who his daughter, Angela, says was taken off a train by plainclothes police while en route to the capital to get medical attention for a neurological ailment.
Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) said then that Sweden and China enjoy good communication and “if there are any problems ... [we] can conduct timely and effective dialogue. This is no problem at all.”
The Chinese Ministry of Public Security has not responded to a request for comment.
‘OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE’: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been researching bat coronaviruses to trace the SARS pathogen, which is 80 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 The Chinese virology institute in the city where COVID-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking havoc around the world, its director has said. Scientists think COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. However, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster China Global Television Network that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others that the novel coronavirus could have escaped from the facility were
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES? An institute of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and a company are to be sanctioned over ‘human rights violations and abuses’ The US Department of Commerce on Friday said that it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies over alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region. “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the department said in a statement. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co are to be sanctioned “for
SPACE RACE: The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp mission aims to land a robotic rover and put a probe into orbit around the planet China is targeting a July launch for its ambitious Mars mission, which includes landing a remote-controlled robot on the surface of the Red Planet, the company in charge of the project has said. Beijing has invested billions of dollars in its space program in an effort to catch up with its rival, the US, and affirm its status as a major world power. The Mars mission is among a number of new space projects China is pursuing, including putting Chinese astronauts on the moon and having a space station by 2022. Beijing had been planning the Mars mission for some time this year,
Former US vice president Joe Biden on Friday said he “should not have been so cavalier” after he told a radio host that African Americans who back US President Donald Trump “ain’t black.” In a call with the US Black Chamber of Commerce that was added to his public schedule, Biden said he would never “take the African American community for granted.” “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden said. “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.” Biden faced criticism after his comments earlier on Friday on The Breakfast Club, a