The United States has officially become a character in the ongoing saga of the five missing Hong Kong booksellers, but it’s still unclear how much of a part they will play.
On Monday, the US State Department called on China to clarify the status of Lee Bo, Gui Minhai and three other missing persons associated with the Causeway Bay Bookstore. US spokesman John Kirby shared that the State Department is “deeply concerned” about whatever’s currently going down between the mainland and Hong Kong:
These cases … raise serious questions about China’s commitment to Hong Kong’s autonomy under the one country, two systems framework, as well as its respect for the protection of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms. We urge China to clarify the current status of all five individuals and the circumstances surrounding their disappearances and to allow them to return to their homes.
Meanwhile, the UK is still waiting on a response to their diplomatic request for access to Lee Bo, previously revealed to be a British citizen. No comment has emerged from Chinese authorities regarding the “investigation” in which Lee is supposedly needed — or regarding anything much in general, apparently.
In last week’s episode of this program: Lee was reunited with his wife on the mainland and reiterated his inexplicable request for people to stop making a fuss; meanwhile, Swedish citizen Gui Minhai revealed an actual reason for being in police custody but, much like Hong Kong, the UK, and now the US, Sweden was not appeased, asking to meet with Gui.