Publish and Perish: Long Arm of Chinese Censors Reach Across Borders

In an unprecedented attack on press freedom, five men – owners and employees of a publishing house in Hong Kong – disappeared. Three were arrested in mainland China and two abducted from Hong Kong and Thailand, appearing subsequently in mainland China. No charges have formally been laid, but the actions appear to be part of a crackdown on Hong Kong’s freewheeling publishing industry, which the Communist Party fears is undermining the Chinese government.

By openly flouting a commitment to respect Hong Kong’s political system and flagrantly violating Thailand’s sovereignty, attempting to shut down publication of annoying books at the expense of its international reputation, China has demonstrated its deepening own insecurity.