Beijing authorities detain Geng Xiaonan for inexplicit “illegal business operation”

Geng Xiaonan.  (Photo: China Aid)
Geng Xiaonan. 
(Photo: China Aid)
(Beijing, Hebei Province—Oct. 23, 2020) A China Aid resource confirms that on October 15, Beijing prosecuting authorities “officially” arrested Geng Xiaonan, a Chinese dissident and founder of privately run publishing company Ruiya Books, and Qin Zhen, her husband. Officials have detained Geng and Qin since September 9.
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities fabricated a charge of “illegal business operation” to arrest Geng, currently detained at Beijing Haidian Detention Center. The original indictment charged Geng with being involved in 8,000 illegal publications. The latest number cited in the case, however, increased to 200,000. Geng’s illegal publications include “cooking magazines [sic].” 
Although Geng resigned from legally representing Ruiya Books and ceased involvement in company operations several years ago, in an effort to reduce Qin’s criminal responsibility, Shang Baojun, Geng’s attorney, said that Geng would like to take all responsibilities for charges. 
CCP authorities accuse Geng and Qin of printing and selling illegal publications with Geng’s indictment citing “illegal business operation.” The CCP often uses the vague law concept “illegal business operation” as a charge for “pockets of crime” to crack down on dissidents. 
Zhao Xinghong, a Chinese law scholar, considers the “illegal business operation,” term used as a charge for diverse “pockets of crime,” too broad and inexplicit. Therefore, Zhao asserts, this charge should be abolished. 
Initially, Geng’s friends thought police arrested her for speaking up for public intellectuals, including Professor Xu Zhangrun, and other dissidents. She had posted an article to show support for Xu after Qinghua University fired him for pointing out current issues and criticizing authorities. Sichuan police arrested Xu in the mid of July on a fabricated charge of “using hookers.” After authorities released Xu, Qinghua University officials fired him, claiming “degraded moral ethics.” Geng called on others to speak up on behalf of Xu. 
Geng Xiaonan, Xu Zhangrun, He Weifang, Aisong, and unidentified others.  
(Photo: China Aid)
Attorney Shang met with Geng September 30, 21 days after her arrest. Shang told the press that Geng, detained with 20 people in a 30 square metered [322 square feet] cell, appeared tired. “She said authorities have interrogated her every day during her first two weeks after being arrested, totaling approximately 20 times.” 
Su Yutong, a journalist in Germany, asked netizens to “tell the case to the government of the country where they live and tell them how Xi Jinping, the dictator [of China], retaliates [to] people criticizing him.” Su states that Xi’s approach to Geng reflects his attitude toward all western democratic countries. 
Professor Cai Xia posted on social media that the way Xi’s authorities cruelly persecute Geng and others of conscience, who advocate for social justice in China, reveals how Xi’s evil regime will bully other countries, particularly democratic nations. 
In addition to serving as editor-in-chief of Ruiya Culture Communication Co. Ltd, Geng has worked as independent Television producer and entrepreneur. In the past, she maintained a positive reputation as CEO of Heaven Pictures (Beijing), and Culture&Media Co.Ltd. She and Qin founded Legend Tianhui film and Television Culture (Beijing). 
While with Ruiya Culture Communication (2001-2018), Geng published nearly 2,000 books, more than 110 each year at. China Press and Publication ranked the company as the typical representative of private publishers who “kicks off the era of paperback books in China.” In addition, Geng regularly won awards in the publishing field. 
In recent years, Geng became known for her proactivity and speaking up in Beijing’s public culture field. She also actively participated in planning, organizing, and promoting public services about culture and thoughts. During this time, Beijing CCP authorities put Geng under surveillance. 
In the past, Geng Xiaonan spoke up for others. Hopefully, now others will speak up and show support for her. 
Gao Zhensai, China Aid Association Special Correspondent 
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