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Hong Kong agog after anti-China bookseller ‘vanishes’

“We have strong reason to believe Mr Lee was kidnapped and smuggled back to the mainland for political investigation”, said Democratic Party MP Albert Ho.

A Hong Kong executive of a publishing company known for producing books critical of the Chinese government has gone missing, according to his wife.

Hong Kong Acting Secretary for Security John Lee told reporters that police were “actively” investigating the case, AP reported. She told local media that she received a phone call from him last Wednesday night, when he disappeared.

Lam said the Chinese authorities had made an unpublicized decision in early 2015 to attempt to “eradicate or silence” those four or five publishing houses.

“I don’t have any information on that”, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday afternoon when asked about Lee Po’s disappearance.

“Hong Kong people are very shocked and appalled”, Mr Ho said.

Ho, a customer at the firm’s bookshop in Causeway Bay, said he had heard from other store regulars that the company was about to launch a book about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) former girlfriend.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, is an autonomous region of China.

“Hong Kong is not Hong Kong anymore, it is NAMED as Hong Kong only”, she says. I shall wish that our forbearers… had the territory in free hold in perpetuity, in which case Hong Kong would be a free, independent nation, long before now. “It was about the missing [associates]”, she said, in comments translated by the SCMP, which also quoted Hong Kong police sources as saying they had no record of Lee going through immigration on his way out of the city. Others include Gui Minhai, owner of Mighty Current, the publishing house that owns the bookstore, the SCMP reported. Police said the incident had been listed as a “missing persons” case.

Small groups of protesters marched through central Hong Kong Sunday, while activists expressed shock at the case that saw employee Lee Bo disappear last week.

Hong Kong residents can be taken away by non-local law enforcers and the government will not protect you.

The latest, 65-year-old Lee Bo, vanished on Wednesday, the BBC reported.

Lee Bo is the fifth man linked to a shop selling works critical of China’s government to go missing since October.

In the same month, two Hong Kong Chinese political magazine publishers Wang Jianmin and Guo Zhongjiao were prosecuted for illegal distribution of Hong Kong publications. “This book has not yet gone to print, but probably it has something to do with this book”, Mr Ho added. Suggestions that there has been a shift from the One Country, Two Systems policy and that China wants to put Hong Kong under its control are “without foundation”, the paper wrote in an editorial.

Large crowds of protesters also gathered in Hong Kong after a pro-Beijing official was given a senior role at the main university.

The “disappearances” have sparked protests in Hong Kong, as well as growing calls for the government to investigate whether the “one country, two systems” principle agreed with the city’s outgoing British rulers had been violated.

The president of PEN International, Jennifer Clement, added: “PEN International is deeply concerned by the recent reports of four missing publishers in China”.

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