When Ching Cheong left his wife, Mary Lau, in Hong Kong to cross the Chinese border 45 minutes away, he thought he was scoring a major publishing coup in Asia. Instead, he wound up in Chinese custody charged with espionage.
According to Ms. Lau, her husband, a prominent Hong Kong journalist and ardent Chinese nationalist, was to bring home an unpublished manuscript titled “Conversations with Zhao Ziyang Under House Arrest.” The work, by retired official Zong Fengmin, is about as hot as it gets in the world of Chinese politics.
The contents of Mr. Zong’s “Conversations” are unknown. But a central point of Zong’s recently published memoir of Mr. Zhao, a purged former premier, was that in the run-up to the June 4, 1989, massacre around Tiananmen, the demand by students for greater openness and democracy was the same demand being made by wide swaths of mid-level and high-ranking party members in Beijing.
See also: Wife defends Hong Kong reporter by Joseph Kahn from The New York Times.