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5 Booksellers Diappear in China


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From the Economist

“…the alleged abduction since October of five Hong Kong residents by the Chinese authorities has cast a dark shadow. Three vanished in mainland China and one in Thailand. The disappearance on December 30th of the fifth man, Lee Bo, has caused particular alarm. He appears to have been snatched from Hong Kong itself and spirited across the border to the mainland, without his travel documents or any record of his leaving. His fate remains unknown. Like the other four, he was associated with a publisher and bookshop specialising in one of Hong Kong’s more esoteric niche businesses: scurrilous tales of intrigue, infighting, corruption and sex among China’s Communist leaders. A forthcoming title purports to uncover the love life of President Xi Jinping. Many have assumed that the Communist Party’s displeasure with the firm’s output explains the mysterious disappearances. China has not denied it.”

Can you image bookseller being abducted in the U.S. for selling books critical of Obama.  China already filters the web, all in an attempt to control what get out through censorship.

China could be less thuggish, and become more sophisticated, by taking a page from America's playbook: Simply create an environment where booksellers can't make it, and have corporations create filter bubbles to control who and what is heard.  

This might sound like a conspiracy theory, until you look around and see who controls the Black voice in the media, and when you consider how few, and the condition of, Black bookstores in America.

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The American Booksellers Association Chimes in;

ABFE Free Speech Report

ABFE Free Speech Report, vol. 2, no. 1, January 2016

ABA Extremely Concerned About Hong Kong Booksellers

The American Booksellers Association issued a statement on January 7 expressing “extreme concern” over the fate of five employees of a Hong Kong publisher and its bookstore who have apparently been taken into custody by Chinese authorities and brought to the Chinese mainland. The men are employees of Mighty Current, which is well-known for publishing books critical of the Chinese government. “If it is true that these men have been kidnapped, the Chinese have grossly violated the pledge they made to maintain freedom of the press when they took over Hong Kong in 1997,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher.

The ABA statement calls on the Chinese government to explain the disappearance of the booksellers and to release them immediately if it is holding them. It also urges the United States government to investigate the case.

The ABA was joined by the Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild, the European & International Booksellers Federation, and PEN American Center in issuing the statement.


Who will speak up for and defend Black book sellers in America?  I'm growing tired trying... admittedly I'm in a bad mood this morning.

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Well, at least China doesn't have a problem with trolls and people who hide behind screen names... That's not funny, but it's the truth. A communist country in all honesty is not very different from the US. Your comment about looking at the state of Black media is basically a comparison to the control created by Communism. It's the same thing. The only difference is we have the idea that we have free will and our own ideas.

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@CDBurns, that is precisely my point.  

But one important difference remains, the Chinese people understand their situation and know who to fight to correct it.  We, Black folks, don't have that benefit.  In fact, we are the most ardent supporters of those controlling our voices.  

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