BEIJING - Police seized hundreds of copies of an independent literary journal and detained its editor, Boston-based poet Bei Ling, friends said Saturday.
Bei disappeared Friday after telling friends he planned to hold a discussion forum that afternoon to review the latest issue of his quarterly journal, ''Tendency,'' said a friend who did not want to be identified for fear of attracting police attention. That evening, police seized several hundred copies of the journal from a bar near Beijing University, the friend said.
Bei was being held Saturday by police in the university district, two friends said. The reason for his detention was unclear.
Bei did not return repeated calls to his pager Saturday. Police would not answer questions about his arrest.
Friends say police have questioned Bei before about ''Tendency,'' a privately published anthology of Chinese and Western literature. In 1994, he was detained for three days for questioning.
Chinese authorities have said the journal has ''political problems.'' The August issue includes work by Irish poet and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, a photograph of exiled Chinese dissident Wang Dan and a poem by dissident literary critic Liu Xiaobo.
Bei, 40, moved to the United States in 1988 and lives in Boston. He is a legal U.S. resident with Chinese citizenship. He traveled to Beijing in June and was planning to return to Boston later this month, his friend said.