The disappearance of a bookseller has spread fear across not just the publishing and media circles in Hong Kong, but over the entire society, a China analyst said on Monday.
Professor Willy Lam from the Chinese University of Hong Kong said: "Not just the publishing and media circles, but the entire Hong Kong society, including people who do business in [mainland] China, and who might have commercial disputes with Chinese companies or different parts of the Chinese government, might fear for their safety because of such a very dangerous precedent".
He said the Hong Kong government needs to take action to confirm the whereabouts of the Causeway Bay bookseller.
Lee Bo is the fifth man associated with Mighty Current publishers and its shop, Causeway Bay Books, to disappear. The company specialises in books that are critical of the mainland's leadership.
Lam, a China specialist, said the evidence suggests a high possibility that mainland security officials took the men. He said if the five are really found to have been abducted, Hong Kong people might begin to worry about their safety.
Meanwhile a commentary by the mainland tabloid, Global Times, has criticised the Causeway Bay bookshop over the titles it sell.
The article said if these books are circulated on the mainland, they would become the source of political rumours and damage the country's harmony as well as stability.
The author also criticised speculations that Lee was taken away by mainland officers, and said some were too quick to label the incident as a violation of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle.
Last updated: 2015-12-04 HKT 11:55