“If Taiwan is unified with China, you will be just like me,” escaped Hong Kong bookseller tells Taiwanese

On April 25 Lam Wing-kei, one of the five Hong Kong booksellers who had been kidnapped by the Chinese Communist authorities in 2015 on charges of selling prohibited books, moved to Taiwan over fears of persecution.

Lam’s decision came after the Hong Kong government pushed forward on an extradition deal with mainland China which would allow Beijing to get hold of individuals who exercise their right to freedom of speech in Hong Kong.

In a recent interview with Hong Kong-based newspaper Apple Daily, Lam said that he “could give up everything, but couldn’t give up himself and his freedom.”

Causeway Bay Books, Hong Kong

The 63-year-old was granted a one-month visa upon arriving in Taiwan. His visa has been extended for two more months. Lam hoped to find a job that would allow him to apply for recidency.

However, he has not found a job, yet, and is currently still living in a hotel. “As long as I can stay in Taiwan, I’d be willing to deliver lunch boxes and sweep the streets,” he said in the interview. Lam’s dream is to reopen Causeway Bay Books, the bookstore he owned in Hong Kong, which made him famous but also brought on him the wrath of the Chinese regime. Thus far he has not been able to find an investor or a location. He is also considering a crowdfunding campaign.

Prior to fleeing Hong Kong Lam was not known for supporting Taiwan independence. Recently, however, he has expressed his sympathy for the independence struggle of Taiwan, Hong Kong, as well as Tibet and Xinjiang.

“I support Taiwan independence,” he told a crowd of pro-independence activists who gathered in the Taipei’s are of Ximending. “I support Hong Kong independence. If Taiwan is unified by mainland [China], you will all be like me.”

In another interview Lam said that he is worried about the future of Taiwan and its people. “I have fled to Taiwan. But where would the Taiwanese people flee if what has happened to me was done to them?”


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