Journalist linked to letter seeking Chinese President Xi's resignation missing

A Chinese journalist linked to an anonymous letter calling for President Xi Jinping's resignation has gone missing while on his way to Hong Kong, according to his lawyer and family.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 19, 2016, 18:06 PM IST

Beijing: A Chinese journalist linked to an anonymous letter calling for President Xi Jinping's resignation has gone missing while on his way to Hong Kong, according to his lawyer and family.

Nobody has been able to contact Beijing-based columnist Jia Jia, 30, since Tuesday night when he was set to board his flight from the airport here, his lawyer Yan Xin was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Jia's wife has also reported him missing. The journalist is said to have warned an editor friend over publishing an anonymous letter calling for Xi's resignation.

The letter appeared on a state-linked site but was swiftly taken down, said the BBC which also carried the letter on its website.

It is unclear who authored the letter, which had the byline "loyal Communist Party supporters".

Jia had reportedly insisted he had no connection to the letter.

Hong Kong-based tabloid newspaper Apple Daily quoted Jia's wife as saying that she last spoke to him at 20:00 local time on Tuesday, and he told her he was about to board the plane to Hong Kong.

Jia, who writes commentaries for the online news portal Tencent, was due to arrive at a friend's home that night, but never reached, his wife said. He also missed a lunch appointment the next day.

His disappearance is believed to be linked to a lengthy letter written by "loyal Communist Party members" asking Xi - who besides being the President also heads the Communist Party and military - to quit.

The letter while appreciating Xi's sweeping anti- corruption campaign in which thousands of officials were punished also accused him of promoting "personality cult, not allowing 'rash opinions of central leadership', creating a 'one voice party' method" disregarding the collective leadership principle.

"We make this request out of consideration for the Party cause, out of consideration for the nation and its people and also out of consideration for your personal safety and that of your family", the letter published by a host of foreign media including the BBC said.