What Drives High-Profile Disappearances in China
By Associated Press
19 November 2021
China says it is a nation “ruled by law,” but the Communist Party ultimately holds sway and there are large gray areas of enforcement. Control over the press and social media allows authorities to keep word of disappearances quiet and to stonewall critics, although such news often gradually surfaces through underground and foreign sources.
Among Chinese celebrities in the entertainment world, tangling with the authorities can be a career killer. For business leaders, it can mean a loss of status, market access and possible incarceration. With political dissidents, it often means disappearance into the vast security state, without access to family or legal recourse.
Even before taking power in 1949, the Communist Party underwent numerous rounds of vicious internecine struggles during which those on the losing side were disposed of without due process. The 1966-76 Cultural Revolution saw politicians, educators and musicians locked up for years without charge, often in solitary confinement.