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State media in China have accused Sweden of a movie-style plot to spirit away detained bookseller Gui Minhai, who has Swedish citizenship.

The Hong Kong-based businessman was seized on 20 January while travelling to the Chinese capital, Beijing.

On Friday a video interview was released in which he accused Stockholm of “sensationalising” his case.

A Chinese tabloid condemned Sweden for trying to “demonstrate its diplomatic heroism by ‘saving the bookseller'”.

Mr Gui, who was briefly freed from custody last October, has been in and out of Chinese detention since 2015, when he went missing during a holiday in Thailand.

What is the Chinese press saying?

The Global Times, a nationalistic paper, accused Sweden of tricking Mr Gui into a plan designed to free him from Chinese custody.

It says the bookseller was banned from leaving the Chinese mainland over allegations he had been involved in “illegal business”.

Also read:Chinese court clears man jailed 15 years over spate of attacks on women in Xinjiang

The 53-year-old was arrested while taking a train to Beijing from Ningbo in eastern China, where doctors had said he might have the neurological disorder ALS, a type of motor neurone disease.

He had been scheduled to see a Swedish specialist in the capital, and was arrested in the presence of two Swedish diplomats travelling with him.

In an editorial headlined, “Is Sweden making ‘Saving Gui Minhai’ movie?”, the Global Times says Stockholm “wanted to arrange Gui’s ‘escape’ by breaking Chinese law”.

Earlier it gave more detail of the allegations against Mr Gui, saying he was suspected of “illegally providing national secrets and intelligence to overseas groups”.

The Global Times accused the Swedish foreign ministry of “craving the limelight in the EU and the West”, and said it had made itself “a laughingstock”.

What’s the problem with the video?

In the video, Mr Gui says he was pressured into leaving China by Swedish officials.

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