Xiao Jianhua (肖建華), a Chinese billionaire with Canadian citizenship, is set to go on trial in the coming days after being disappeared 5 years ago.
Xiao vanished in 2017 while visiting Hong Kong. It remains unclear if he was captured in Hong Kong and taken across the border to China, or if he went willingly, evidence seems to point to the latter.
The same year that Xiao evaporated, China’s stock regulator stated that those accused of “financial misconduct” would be “captured and returned.” This seems to be the case with Xiao, as it is unlikely he would return to China likely knowing that he would face charges (in a “judicial” system with a 99 plus percent conviction rate).
Hong Kong authorities have claimed that they looked into the matter and that Xiao crossed of his own volition, however they also answer to the CCP so take that for what it is.
Xiao’s detainment comes at a time when Chinese leader Xi Jinping is attempting to further tighten his grip on power and is using such arrests to claim he is cleaning up corruption.
This is likely technically true, to a degree, as Xiao was worth an estimated $6 billion at the time of his arrest and you don’t generally make that kind of money without some level of corruption (whether legal or not). However, you can’t just abduct people based on allegations and hold them in black sites for half a decade (well technically you can cause China does it constantly and no one seems to care, but you shouldn’t be able to).
The problem with the CCP’s narrative is that rampant corruption is, and has been, the life blood of the CCP in China and has routinely been overlooked, or committed, by party leaders. Because it is always ok when our side does it.
The black bag job was also done as China ramps up its war on those speaking ill of the CCP. See the smears against entire Hong Kong anti-extradition protest movement and the arresting of journalists and activists (like Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing), and even former Interpol Chiefs (like Meng Hongwei).
Whether the international community will do anything combat these abductions and detainments that flagrantly violate human rights will be seen (my bet is on them shrugging their shoulders and continuing to buy cheap plastic trash they don’t need from China).