Correction: The Garnaut essay linked below is from 2011, the previous time Yang was nabbed by the authorities. It’s like some old joke from the Soviet Union. (Thanks to William White for pointing out my error.) —JG
The New York Times reports (porous paywall):
A well-known writer and former Chinese official with Australian citizenship flew from New York to China on Friday despite warnings from friends who told him it was too dangerous.
Now, he is missing and appears to have been detained by the Chinese authorities.
The writer, Yáng Héngjūn 杨恒均, did not answer his Chinese cell phone despite repeated attempts to reach him on Tuesday and Wednesday.
See also this AFP report, and a piece by John Garnaut:
You might think it gets easier to stomach news of a good friend or terrific individual ”disappearing” in China, given the rate at which it has been happening. But Yang Hengjun vanishing from Guangzhou’s Baiyun Airport hits deeper into the abdomen and rises further up the throat, I think, because it comes with an added feeling that the ground for everyone in China is shifting fast beneath our feet.
I and a colleague interviewed Yang in 2008: You can watch the short clip here on YouTube.