Sweden Investigates Its Envoy to China After Report of Secret Talks to Free Publisher

Sweden Investigates Its Envoy to China After Report of Secret Talks to Free Publisher


Ms. Gui said that even as she grew increasingly suspicious of the men, Ms. Lindstedt tried to persuade her to work with them and explained “that was the best course of action, as the negotiations handled by the Foreign Ministry ‘didn’t seem to make much progress,’ ” Ms. Gui said.

Ms. Lindstedt, 58, could not be reached for comment, and it is unclear how she became involved with the two men.

She has been ambassador to Beijing since September 2016. She began her diplomatic career in 1990, when she became second secretary at the Swedish Embassy in Indonesia. She went on to positions in Pakistan, then became ambassador to Vietnam, then Mexico. She was appointed climate ambassador in 2011, and was Sweden’s chief negotiator at the climate summit meeting in Paris in 2015.

Last week, the Chinese Embassy in Stockholm responded to an earlier, less detailed account of Ms. Gui’s meeting with the two men, published by a Swedish newspaper, by denying that it had any role in the talks. “The Chinese side has never authorized and will not authorize anyone to engage with Gui Minhai’s daughter,” the embassy said in an online statement.

A spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, said on Thursday that she had no information about the matter.

Ms. Lindstedt is not the only ambassador in Beijing who has become entangled in controversy over China’s detention of foreigners. The Canadian ambassador was dismissed by his government last month after making contentious comments about Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, who was arrested in Vancouver in December at the request of the United States.

The Canadian envoy, John McCallum, surprised his government by saying that Ms. Meng had a good chance of avoiding extradition to the United States, a comment that critics said threatened to politicize the case.



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