20 February 2019
China has placed veteran journalist Gao Yu under detention on charges of leaking state secrets. Photo: AFP
China has placed veteran journalist Gao Yu under detention on charges of leaking state secrets. Photo: AFP

Mirror Media’s Ho says state secrets charge against Gao ‘absurd’

Ho Pin, president of the Mirror Media Group, has slammed Chinese authorities’ state secrets leakage charge against veteran journalist Gao Yu, describing the accusations as “absurd”.

In an interview to Apple Daily on Thursday, Ho said the accusations against Gao and her detention could be aimed at sending a warning to those who try to mark the upcoming 25th anniversary of Beijing’s bloody June 4, 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square.

China’s state media reported Thursday that Gao had been under police detention since April 24 for leaking state secrets. She is said to have illegally obtained a secret Communist Party document and provided it to a website for publication, Xinhua said, without elaborating.

Some observers have speculated that the so-called secrets could be the contents of the so-called No. 9 document, which outlines the party’s strategy on attacking Western democratic ideals. The Mirror Monthly published the whole document in September last year in its overseas edition.

Ho, once a mainland reporter in his early career, was quoted as saying that he is not sure whether the document was provided by Gao, but the fact is that the publisher acquired it long time ago. He said the contents were nothing but cliché, and publishing it was just for reference, not to attract eyeballs.

The publisher has received many materials that were far more confidential and sensitive than the No. 9 document, and many of those were provided by the people in the government system. That is what the authorities should investigate, rather than chase something old and not important, Ho said, criticizing the detention of Gao.

Meanwhile, some China watchers are of the view that authorities just used leakage of secrets as an excuse to arrest Gao, but the real reason for her detention was because she had published several articles overseas, many of which took direct aim at President Xi Jinping.

– Contact us at [email protected]


EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe