• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 11:01am

Hong Kong publisher Yiu Man-tin, working on Xi Jinping book, held on mainland China

Editor of Morning Bell Press was working with author of book about Xi Jinping when lured to Shenzhen and detained three months ago

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 January, 2014, 12:11am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 May, 2014, 8:59am

A Hong Kong-based publisher who was working to release a dissident's book about President Xi Jinping has been detained on the mainland for nearly three months.

The 73-year-old Yiu Man-tin, also known as Yao Wentian, is the chief editor of Morning Bell Press. He was taken into custody on October 27 after he was "lured" to Shenzhen on the pretence of delivering paint to a long-time friend, said a person who has spoken to Yiu's wife.

Yiu was surrounded by a dozen plain-clothes security agents and formally arrested in early November. Police have not revealed the charges against him, but they could possibly include smuggling and evasion of import tariffs. Calls to the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau went unanswered yesterday.

Yiu had been in discussion with US-based author Yu Jie about the publication of a book about Xi entitled Chinese Godfather Xi Jinping.

Yu wrote China's Best Actor: Wen Jiabao, a harsh critique of the former premier that has been banned on the mainland since its 2010 release.

Yu wrote on his Facebook page yesterday that he had completed the first draft of the Xi book and was anticipating an April release. He said he and Yiu were also working on a reprint of his 1998 debut Fire and Ice, a controversial collection of political essays.

"We had just finished with the editing and were about to print when he suddenly disappeared," Yu said. "I think his work on my Xi Jinping book is the main reason why he's been detained."

Yu said Yiu had previously been harassed for their ties, including when they collaborated on Hu Jintao: Harmony King, a play on the former president's "harmonious society" concept.

"The Communist Party threatened me and gave him a hard time, but we continued with our plan to publish," Yu said.

Another person who has a professional relationship with Yiu said his arrest "looks like a political persecution". "He went to Shenzhen often and never had an issue before," the person said.

People who have spoken to Yiu's 74-year-old wife said the elderly publisher suffered from heart problems and had fainted repeatedly during his detention.

He is being held in the detention centre of a medical facility.

Yiu's wife is said to be looking for a lawyer.

In September 2012, Yiu wrote to Google complaining that his Gmail account had been hacked while he was preparing to print the Hu Jintao book.

"In the last eight hours, a third party hacked into my e-mail and changed the content again," Yiu wrote. "Please help me investigate this matter."


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This article is now closed to comments

Good job letting everybody know about your project.
should lure these mfsob prc thugs to face the taliban!!!
Andy Mayweather
As a scholar schooled under the late Ronald Dworkin, and as someone who has studied Chinese legal history extensively, I've tried my hardest not to preach the American liberal democratic conception of the rule of law. Instead I understand that people and cultures are different. However, even if one adopts a charitable approach to answering the question of whether the rule of law exists in China, (ie acknowledging China's achievements, not overstressing China's shortcomings, refraining from making sweeping moral judgments and reaching simplistic conclusions while understanding the underlying values that have shaped China's complex society), it is difficult to find an underlying and unique conception of the rule of law that is upheld in China. This case of Yao Wentian adds to this - there may be laws to protect citizens from arbitrary uses of power by the state, but what is the point of a law if it can not be enforced?
Xi Jinping should have read up on Jeremy Bentham: "What is the motto of a good citizen? To obey punctually, to censure freely".
Down with the CCP
Thin skinned, evil goons those CCP scum...
Down with the CCP.
Xi on being a good leader, compared to his corrupt predecessors [imitating Al Pacino]: Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!
Andy Mayweather
you gots to be kidding. this has nothing to do with selling books. SO small minded!
You should try even harder not to do what you shouldn't. As you said, Ronald Dworkin is only a representation of the American strand of western legal philosophies. So, please stop presenting it as the universial standard for what constitutes a legal system.


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