A detained Swedish bookseller at the center of escalating row between Western governments and Beijing has accused Sweden of using him as a "chess piece" in an appearance arranged by Chinese police.

Gui Minhai, a Hong Kong-based publisher who sold books of gossip about Chinese leaders, told several outlets including the South China Morning Post on Friday that he never wanted to leave China and that Stockholm was using his case to "create trouble."

The statement from Gui, who spoke in a detention facility flanked by police, was immediately denounced by rights activists as coerced.

Gui was seized in January by Chinese agents while traveling on a train with Swedish diplomats who were apparently trying to escort him out of China.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry did not immediately comment.