The European Union’s ambassador to China on Wednesday joined the Swedish Foreign Ministry in calling on Beijing to release a Hong Kong-based bookseller of Swedish citizenship who was arrested by Chinese authorities at the weekend.
Amb. Hans-Dietmar Schweisgut has told the EU expects Chinese authorities to immediately release Gui Minhai from detention and to allow him to reunite with his family.
“Gui should also consulate support and medical support in line with his rights, because he is a Swedish citizen and also a citizen of the EU,’’ Schweisgut noted.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman replied that the ministry had no “new information” about the situation and that it is “unreasonable” for Sweden and the EU to call for Gui’s release.
“Any foreign country should respect Chinese authorities’ handling of cases of foreign citizens in China according to the law,’’ spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
Hua added that Beijing provides assistance to foreign embassy officials to perform their duties according to international law and that other countries should “educate” their citizens in advance to respect China’s domestic laws.
Angela Gui said a naturalised Swedish citizen, was arrested on Saturday while en route to Beijing, where he had been due to undergo medical tests, his daughter.
Gui was detained on a train by plain-clothes police in the presence of two Swedish diplomats.
According to Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, Sweden takes Gui’s detention very seriously and expects his immediate release.
Gui is one of five previously detained Hong Kong publishers with links to a publishing house specialising in books banned in mainland China.