TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Lam Wing-kee (林榮基), the former owner of the dissident Hong Kong bookstore Causeway Bay (銅鑼灣書店), said Saturday that he hoped to open a new Causeway Bay in Taiwan but would have to take into consideration the fact that many independent bookselling businesses had failed in recent years on the island.
Speaking to the press, Lam said China's leader Xi Jingpin has taken more severe measures with Hong Kong and Taiwan. "How China is ruling Hong Kong right now can be seen as his future approaches against Taiwan."
Earlier in May, Lam said in an interview with Japan Economics Newspaper (The Nikki) that with the help of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists, he was preparing to open a new Causeway Bay in Taiwan.
Lam participated in the screening of “Raise the Umbrellas”, a documentary about Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution in 2014, and the talk of an exhibition organized by the 228 Memorial Foundation in Taipei titled “Taiwan Yesterday, Hong Kong Today. What about the future??” (過去台灣．今日香港．未來？？) on Saturday.
The exhibition compares the socio-political situations in Taiwan during the 228 Incident with the current struggles of Hong Kong due to Beijing’s increasing economic and political interference.
Lam said apart from participating in the exhibition, he would also be looking into Taiwan’s current business environment in order to decide whether or not to open a new Causeway Bay, and if so, it would be prepared to open in 2018 at the earliest.
Lam was the former founder and current manager of Causeway Bay, a Honk Kong independent bookstore previously famous for selling and publishing politically sensitive books that were banned by the Chinese government.
Starting from October 2015, five bookstore members were detained, or as many activists worded "forced missing", one by one by the Chinese authorities, including Lam.
Lam was released in June 2016. He later held a press conference accusing Beijing of violating the agreement of letting Hong Kong be ruled under the “One Country, Two Systems” policy.
The bookstore is still in operation as of now but is said to have removed all the controversial books.