No room for negotiation from the Chinese side about imprisoned Swedish-Chinese Gui Minhai

China’s Swedish Ambassador Gui Congyou and Expressen’s Leif Brännström.
Photo: SVEN LINDWALL

In a recent interview with Swedish Newspaper Expressen, China’s ambassador to Sweden Gui Congyou makes it very clear that there is no room for negotiation or discussion regarding the case of imprisoned Swedish-Chinese Gui Minhai. At least not from the Chinese side.

Although the Chinese refuse to discuss the case it still became a topic when Expressen’s Leif Brännström met China’s Swedish Ambassador Gui Congyou for an interview about, amongst other topics, the strained Swedish-Chinese relations.

Gui Minhai, also known as Michael Gui, is a 56 year-old Chinese-born Swedish book publisher, writer and one of three shareholders of Causeway bay Books in Hong Kong. He is an author of many books related to Chinese politics, Chinese political figures and is known to have previously published books on the personal lives of Chinese Communist Party members.

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The controversial case has poisoned relations between Sweden and China since Gui Minhai disappeared from a holiday in Thailand in October 2015. He was one of five men who vanished in a string of incidents known as the Causeway Bay Books disappearances, which refer to a series of international disappearances concerning five staff members of Causeway Bay Books. It later emerged that the five persons had been taken to China. Four were later freed, but Gui Minhai remained in Chinese detention and was later sentenced to ten years in prison for “providing information to foreign powers”. Sweden has been denied access to his trial and has demanded his release.

Gui Minhai still holds Swedish citizenship but according to the Chinese Ambassador, Gui Minhai gave up his Swedish citizenship when he in 2018 voluntarily regained his Chinese citizenship. It is not allowed to have dual citizenship under Chinese law and therefore is Gui Minhai now no longer a Swedish citizen.

The Chinese Ambassador said in the interview with Expressen “I have said that the Gui Minhai case is no longer a matter between China and Sweden. This topic is closed. Gui Minhai is now a Chinese citizen. No one from Sweden is allowed to get involved. I think we can close this topic”.

He also adds that he hopes that Sweden does not get involved in China’s internal affairs and instead does more to promote friendly relations between the two countries.

Read the full interview between The Chinese Ambassador and Expressen which also contains The Ambassador’s observations about Sweden, the quarrel over Huawei, and the latest spy case in Sweden, here.

 

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

View all posts by Mette Larsen

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