Exiled Hong Kong media boss Gu Zhuoheng, chairman of Sing Pao Media Enterprises, which owns Hong Kong's pro-China Sing Pao Daily News, has been an outspoken critic of corruption among the Chinese leadership, and currently has an Interpol red notice out for his arrest. He spoke to RFA's Cantonese Service about being waylaid in the lobby of the airport Regal Hotel in Hong Kong at around 3.00 a.m. by gun-wielding Chinese state security agents after flying in from Thailand on May 26, 2015.
The Hong Kong police have since confirmed the incident to RFA, adding that they arrested two mainland nationals for assault, later releasing them due to 'insufficient evidence.' However, they made no comment on the involvement of state security police from China in Hong Kong's separate legal jurisdiction. Secretary for Security John Lee declined to comment on Friday, saying only that any incidents in Hong Kong should be dealt with through the city's own law enforcement and according to its own laws.
We were [the targets of an attempted] kidnap by more than 20 people in the corridor, all toting guns. They were distributed over a large area at the time, and they were wearing casual clothes just like regular passersby. I didn't realize the danger I was in until they came to kidnap me. There was a guy on either side of me, each holding a gun against me.
I did not expect to be kidnapped by the Chinese Communist Party at the Hong Kong International Airport.I kept resisting though, and I was saved by security guards at the Regal Hotel, who informed the police. The airport police rushed to the scene and rescued me from huge peril.
It was just after 3.00 a.m., and I had flown in from Bangkok. I went straight to the aitport hotel after I cleared immigration. The police thought at first that it was triad criminal gangs.
But when the police detained some of the suspects as part of the investigation, they were shocked to learn that they were [Chinese] state security police toting firearms on an undercover mission. They also sent me to the hospital, where I stayed for more than 20 hours.
It was only my resistance that stopped me being taken away from them. If I hadn't put up a fight, I would have been taken to mainland China. Maybe I would be in a Chinese prison, or even dead by now.
[Since I came to the United States], a number of very high-level officials from the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of State Security have come to the U.S. many times and interviewed me many times. It's not convenient for me to reveal their names, but I can say that they are very, very senior officials: household names.
They want to talk to me about two things. One is that they want me to serve China. The other is that they have tried me persuade me to go back to China ... although they stipulated some conditions.
But I didn't trust them, so I didn't dare to go back and didn't believe them. I think they were luring me back under false pretenses, because they have since charged me with harming national security. So I could be looking at a very harsh prison sentence, or life imprisonment, if I were to go back.
Reported by Tam Siu-yin for RFA's Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.