A senior Shanghai leader has denied that writer Bai Hua - who disappeared about two months ago - has been detained by the authorities. Vice-Mayor Zhao Qizheng said: 'If this is a political issue, I will know about it. But as far as I know, that is not the case.' Mr Zhao suggested Bai's disappearance was probably due to his personal 'lifestyle' rather than an arrest by the authorities. 'I am sure Bai will miss home and when he comes back, you may ask him where he has been,' he said. Bai became famous after he was singled out for attack by Deng Xiaoping for his script of the 1982 film Bitter Love. The film allegedly questioned the idea of patriotism under the Communist Party. Bai, 64, has not been seen in the city since the end of May, and some friends of the Shanghai Branch of the Writers' Association feared he might have been arrested by public security personnel. But a diplomat who knows the writer suggested he had probably gone on one of his long trips with a friend.