Don’t distort publisher case into mainland-HK dispute

By Shan Renping Source:Global Times Published: 2016-1-19 0:38:01

A Xinhua News Agency investigative article on Sunday revealed the story behind Gui Minhai, one of five missing Hong Kong publishers. Gui, a China-born Swedish citizen, was involved in a fatal car accident when drunk driving, in which a female college student was killed. He was sentenced to a suspended two-year jail term, and then fled abroad. He confessed his crime to Chinese mainland authorities in October last year. He was shown on State broadcaster China Central Television on Sunday night.

His appearance soon sparked speculation that he was detained by mainland authorities because of a bookshop known for selling works that maliciously attack the mainland's political systems.

How could such a person as Gui, who was serving a suspended jail term, manage to stay in Hong Kong and conduct activities which do damage to Chinese society? After his confession, some Hongkongers intentionally exaggerated this case. But his wrongdoing, before the case was revealed,  had been intentionally ignored. Those Hongkongers deliberately pick up particular legal affairs.

Gui's case involves the jurisdiction of the mainland, Hong Kong and Sweden, which makes the handling of the case complex. The public in Hong Kong should realize such complexity and avoid seeing Hong Kong as the center. They should recognize the specialty of where the three different systems converge and avoid politicizing the issue.

Recent legal affairs in the mainland have more than once involved Swedish people. The Swedish government and public have responded in a milder way than some Hongkongers and showed willingness to cooperate. This should prompt Hong Kong society to reflect upon itself.

Some individuals from Hong Kong have come to the mainland to turn themselves in or assist in investigation. But they can be made into a stir. The fundamental reason is different views of values and a different interpretation of "one country, two systems."

Some in the Hong Kong opposition believe that "one country, two systems" grants Hong Kong the right to confront the mainland and the central government, plus Hong Kong is the bastion of any extreme or illegal actions that would shake the mainland's political systems.

Hong Kong and the mainland should not confront each other. Anyone should not try to find a "legal space" in the Basic Law where the mainland and Hong Kong face off. The difference of judiciary systems in the two parts should not be highlighted and distorted as a crackdown on freedom in Hong Kong.

Mainland society is willing to see Hong Kong exercise its independent judiciary.

As for Gui's case, it is unique due to his experiences and the crimes he committed. He said, "Let me solve my own problems." It is time for him to face the law.

Posted in: Observer

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