Update 1: Our friend Tom of the Daai Tou Laam Diary has just posted an article about Guo Quan’s arrest, in the context of Internet censorship in China.
Update 2: RFA reported that a Los Angeles based Chinese dissidents group demonstrated in front of their local Chinese Consulate General office to demand the release of Guo Quan.
Guo Quan has been detained in his hometown in Nanjing. According to RFA Mandarin Service, a charge of subversion of state power ( 颠覆国家政权 ) was stated on the document served to him and his family. Associated Press has also released a report about Guo’s arrest.
Guo is a colourful but controversial figure. Depending on where you look, you’ll have very different impression of him. Most Chinese sources, including the Chinese version of the Wikipedia entry, portray him as a pioneer of fenqing (angry Chinese youth) style nationalism and as a chauvinist with a long record of anti-Japanese activities. In many western media however, including the above cited AP report, Guo is described as a democracy activist and an advocate of multi-party politics in China. I highly recommend Rebecca MacKinnon’s 3/3/2008 blogpost for a detailed analysis of how information about Guo on the Internet has been systematically suppressed, and what Guo has attempted to do to fight against the suppression.
This is not the first time Guo is detained on charges of subversion. He was detained but later released in May this year for making comments about the Chinese government’s handling of the Sichuan earthquake. China Digital Times has a detailed report with links to several relevant websites.