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Billionaire Xiao Jianhua reads a book outside the International Finance Centre in Hong Kong in December 2013. He was apparently taken from a hotel room in the city by mainland Chinese police on Jan. 27.   © AP Photo/Next Magazine

Xi Jinping and the 'man who knew too much'

Billionaire's disappearance ups pressure on Chinese VIPs to choose sides

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- The disappearance of a China-born billionaire in Hong Kong has left the world wondering. If Xiao Jianhua really was abducted by Chinese agents in late January, as it appears, what did Beijing hope to gain?

The alleged kidnapping could bring heavy criticism upon the Xi Jinping government for violating Hong Kong's autonomy under the "one country, two systems" formula. This is a particularly sensitive time, given the international attention on Hong Kong's upcoming chief executive election.

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