News / Asia

    China Defends Law Enforcers as US Calls for Clarity on Booksellers

    FILE - A pro-democracy activist burns a letter next to pictures of missing staff members of a publishing house and bookstore, including Gui Minhai, owner of Mighty Current, outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong, Jan. 3, 2016.
    FILE - A pro-democracy activist burns a letter next to pictures of missing staff members of a publishing house and bookstore, including Gui Minhai, owner of Mighty Current, outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong, Jan. 3, 2016.
    Reuters

    China's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday its law enforcement officials would never do anything illegal, especially not overseas, after the United States called on China to clarify the status of five missing Hong Kong booksellers.

    The booksellers, including Lee Bo, 65, a dual British and Chinese national and owner of a publisher and bookstore specializing in books critical of China's Communist Party leaders, are believed by many to have been abducted by mainland agents.

    U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby told a regular news briefing Monday that the United States was "deeply concerned," and the cases raised questions about China's commitment to Hong Kong's autonomy under a one country, two systems framework as well as about its respect for rights.

    "We urge China to clarify the current status of all five individuals and the circumstances surrounding their disappearances and to allow them to return to their homes," Kirby said.

    FILE - Members of student group Scholarism protest the disappearance of booksellers outside the British consulate in Hong Kong, Jan. 6, 2016.
    FILE - Members of student group Scholarism protest the disappearance of booksellers outside the British consulate in Hong Kong, Jan. 6, 2016.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Hong Kong's autonomy was fully respected, and that as the territory was China's, no foreign officials had the right to interfere or offer "not really appropriate" comments about the place.

    Requests for information

    The British government is waiting for responses to its diplomatic requests for information and access to Lee, who disappeared from Hong Kong on Dec. 30.

    Lee's wife visited him in a mainland guesthouse Jan. 23 and issued a statement saying he was healthy and in good spirits, and that he was a witness in an investigation.

    Four other booksellers are believed to be in mainland detention, including Swedish national Gui Minhai, who disappeared from the Thai resort town of Pattaya last October.

    Gui surfaced on Chinese state television last month, stating he had turned himself in to Chinese authorities over a fatal drunken driving case more than a decade ago.

    Asked whether China had kidnapped Gui in Thailand, Lu said Chinese law enforcers always abided by the law.

    "If we need to have certain law enforcement cooperation with other countries' governments — this is done in agreement with both sides in accordance with the law," he said. Gui's case was "being handled," he added.

    The disappearances have prompted fears that mainland authorities may be using shadowy tactics that erode the one country, two systems formula under which Hong Kong has been governed since its return to China from British rule in 1997.

    Britain handed Hong Kong back under agreements that its broad freedoms, way of life and legal system would remain unchanged for 50 years.

    Chinese authorities have not made any substantial statements explaining their role in the disappearances or the fate of the men.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora