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Taiwan vice president supports Hong Kong's struggle for freedom

Lai Ching-te visits Causeway Bay Books in Taipei, promises 'assistance and care to Hongkongers'

Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-te and  Lam Wing-kee (<a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, @chingte photo)

Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-te and  Lam Wing-kee (Facebook, @chingte photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) visited Causeway Bay Books in Taipei on Friday (Aug. 15), a bookstore that reopened in Taiwan this April after being shut down by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Hong Kong, in 2015.

According to his Facebook update, Lai spoke with the bookstore's founder, Lam Wing-kee (林榮基), about the future of Taiwan and Hong Kong. In 2015, Lam was abducted to China by the CCP's agents, along with four other shareholders and employees of Causeway Bay Books.

Beijing targeted the Hong Kong bookstore for its attempt to publish a book about China President Xi Jinping's (習近平) love affairs, titled "Six Women of Xi Jinping."

"I asked Lam to send messages to our friends in Hong Kong that Taiwan will not stand idly by during the difficulties they are facing," Lai said. "We will offer the necessary assistance and care to Hongkongers."

The shuttering of Causeway Bay Books caused bookstores and publishers in Hong Kong to start self-censoring and pulling books that were politically sensitive. After the city's national security law came into force on July 1, Hong Kong's public libraries removed books to verify whether they promoted Hong Kong independence.

During Lai's visit, Lam touted the diversity and vigor of Taiwan's publishers. In 2016, Chinese writer Yu jie (余杰) published his book, "Entering Imperialism: Xi Jinping and his Chinese Dream," in Taiwan, after the book's publication was suspended in Hong Kong.

"As the freedom of publication in Hong Kong has entirely crumbled, Taiwan is the final bastion for people to publish freely in Chinese-speaking societies," Yu added.