Taiwan-owned bookstore in Hong Kong said it had run out of store copies of a landmark book claiming the invasion of eight nations from China in the early 20th century was justified, amid reports in the media supported by the ruling Chinese Communist Party. (CCP) that he had removed the book from its shelves.
âThe Eight Nations Alliance was a just cause,â written by Canada-based author Liu Qikun and published in Taiwan Democracy, was reportedly âsuppressedâ by the CCP-backed Eslite Bookstores in Hong Kong. World time the newspaper reported.
The pro-CCP South China Morning Post quoted an Eslite employee as saying the book is out of print, but may not be fully restocked due to “the current situation.”
The book “glorifies the Eight Nation Alliance’s invasion of China,” the Global Times reported, and was not available at Eslite’s Hong Kong branches on the. On Monday, although copies are still listed on the channel’s website, according to The Standard newspaper.
The controversy comes amid a city-wide crackdown on dissent that has seen dozens of former opposition politicians and high-profile journalists detained under a draconian national security law imposed on Hong Kong by the CCP since 1st of July, 2020.
Pro-Beijing lawmaker Elizabeth Quat told reporters she had received hundreds of complaints that the book was on sale in Hong Kong, and that publications that “vilify and distort” the CCP’s side of the story did not would not be tolerated.
Chao Cheng-min, who runs the China Times publishing house that published the book, said there was a reason the book was published in Taiwan in the first place.
“Taiwan has freedom of the press and of publication,” Chao told RFA. “We have always respected the different opinions among our writers and believe that readers can make up their own minds.”
“But we also respect the different laws and customs of our different regional markets.”
Hong Kong seen as a warning
Author Liu Qikun was called a “far-right” during the political purges of the 1950s under the leadership of late Supreme Leader Mao Zedong, and then fled to Hong Kong. He immigrated to Canada in 1988 and has written in favor of constitutional democracy in China since retiring from a career in software development.
The disappearance of books from Hong Kong bookstores came after warnings from high-level commentators about the CCP’s global ambitions in recent days.
US historian Miles Yu has said what is happening in Hong Kong should be a warning to the rest of the world.
“It is not only a tragedy for the people of Hong Kong, but for the whole world … and shows that the CCP is not a credible regime,” Yu said at a Christian foundation event in Hong Kong, during which he shared a platform with former Secretary of State in the Trump administration, Mike Pompeo.
âI think Pompeo had the right attitude towards China, which should be to beware and verify,â Yu said, citing China’s abandonment of promises made in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, a Bilateral treaty registered by the UN governing the transfer of the city from the United Kingdom to China in 1997.
“Hong Kong is a prime example,” he said, warning that the CCP will then seek to politically dominate its neighbors in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
Pompeo told the California-based Hong Kong Freedom Beacon Inc. on Oct. 17 that “appeasement was not going to work” in the face of the CCP-backed crackdown in Hong Kong, a conclusion that led the United States to adopt. a series of legislation and executive measures November 2019, removing the city’s special trade status and imposing political review and sanction requirements on officials responsible for national security repression.
“It now seems destined to be just another communist city … when the CCP overthrew and destroyed Hong Kong freedoms, it also shattered any illusions one might have about the reliability of the regime,” he said. he declares.
âBut the world is still watching,â he said, to enthusiastic applause.
Wider Chinese goals
Veteran journalist Ching Cheong said Pompeo reversed mistakes made by previous US administrations in their dealings with China for many years.
âJust look at how many promises the CCP has not kept, or broken, since the regime came to power in 1949,â Ching said. “I think there are eight or ten major cases of it.”
Joanna Chiu, a journalist and author who has covered Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement for many years, recently told Tom Lantos’ congressional hearing on Hong Kong that the city’s seven million people may no longer be never organize a big demonstration.
âMy research examines how Beijing’s attempt to control Hong Kong fits into a larger context,â Chiu said at the Oct. 14 hearing.
“The same set of party and state agencies, such as the United Front’s Labor Department and the Ministry of State Security, charged with lobbying civil society groups and political entities to Hong Kong has a similar mission around the world, âshe warned. .
The National Security Law criminalizes speech and acts considered to constitute secession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with foreign powers, and allowed the establishment of a national security office under the direct control of Beijing to oversee law enforcement, as well as as the Hong Kong headquarters of the dreaded Chinese State Security Police, to deal with “special cases” deemed important by Beijing.
It also prohibits speech or actions anywhere in the world considered to incite hatred or discontent towards the CCP or the Hong Kong government.
Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.