The list of high profile “disappeared” individuals in China expanded over the last year to include a Hollywood star and Interpol head.
Date: January 13, 2019
By: Yanan Wang for AP
It’s not uncommon for individuals who speak out against the government to disappear in China, but the scope of the “disappeared” has expanded since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013.
Not only dissidents and activists, but also high-level officials, Marxists, foreigners and even a movie star — people who never publicly opposed the ruling Communist Party — have been whisked away by police to unknown destinations.
The widening dragnet throws into stark relief the lengths to which Xi’s administration is willing to go to maintain its control and authority.
A look at some of the people who went missing in 2018 at the hands of the Chinese state.
China threatened “grave consequences” if Canada did not release hi-tech executive Meng Wanzhou, shortly after the Huawei chief financial officer was detained in Vancouver in December for possible extradition to the U.S.
The apparent consequences materialised within days, when two Canadian men went missing in China. Both turned up in the hands of state security on suspicion of endangering national security, a nebulous category of crimes that has been levied against foreigners in recent years.
Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was taken by authorities from a Beijing street late in the evening, a person familiar with his case said.
He is allowed one consular visit a month and has not been granted access to a lawyer, as is standard for state security cases.
Also detained is Michael Spavor, who organises tours to North Korea from the border city of Dandong. China has not said whether their detentions are related to Meng’s, but a similar scenario unfolded in the past.
A Canadian couple was detained in 2014 on national security grounds shortly after Canada arrested Su Bin, a Chinese man wanted for industrial espionage in the U.S. [FULL STORY]