Exiled German activist Wong Tai-yang continues to speak out for Hong Kong

Since the Umbrella Movement in 2014, Beijing has gradually stifled Hong Kong’s freedom, and the disqualification and subsequent mass resignation of four pan-democratic legislators may signal that the last remaining democratic elements of Hong Kong’s political system are not likely to survive. Huang Taiyang, an exile in Germany, is a prominent figure in Hong Kong’s struggle, and one of the six overseas figures wanted under Hong Kong’s version of the National Security Law, who believes he will be able to return home in his lifetime. The following is Huang Tai Yang’s first-person account of himself.

“Light up Hong Kong, revolution of the times.”

On July 21, 2019, I still remember the day when a member of the Hong Kong People’s Front (the local democracy front) suddenly sent me a voice message, and I knew right away that it was the whole street shouting this slogan. I couldn’t help the tears that came to my eyes when I heard it, partly because I thought that I might never be able to go back to Hong Kong.

My name is Wong Tai Yang, I was exiled from Hong Kong to Germany in November 2017, and I was the first politician to get political asylum from Hong Kong to Europe.

I launched a political party, the Local Democratic Front, and we believe that under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, there is only one way for Hong Kong to keep our democracy and freedom alive, and that is the independence of Hong Kong.

In the eyes of the CCP, in the eyes of the Hong Kong government, a political party that radical can certainly not exist in Hong Kong.

Back to the Umbrella Revolution in 2014, at the beginning, I was actually what everyone now calls “Wo Li Fei”, I was holding up an A4 sheet of paper with “Calm down” written on it. I was in the front line of the demonstrators, between the demonstrators and the police, and I was telling them to calm down.

We saw that there was no way to force the Hong Kong government to respond to our demands through our peaceful demonstration methods.

We started to think about how we could fight for our rights and how we could force the Hong Kong government to listen to us.

Our final conclusion was that we needed to fight courageously.

I was arrested by the police in February 2016. I was charged by the Hong Kong government with organizing an illegal assembly, organizing a riot and participating in a riot for a demonstration.

In May 2018, I officially became a political refugee in Germany.

“Glorious Hong Kong, Time Revolution” was actually our slogan for the by-election in February 2016, and it can be said that we, Ben Min Mae, are the founders of this slogan.

On July 21, a member of Frontier Benmin suddenly sent me a voice message, and I knew right away that the whole street was chanting this slogan. I still remember I was on a train in Germany at that time and I couldn’t stop the tears from coming down my face when I heard it.

The people of Hong Kong are actually because what we have done and pushed for in the past has brought about, maybe even just a little bit of change, then I already feel that my efforts are worth it.

We started in Hong Kong, this force of resistance has slowly spread to different parts of the world, we can see the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, they will also learn from the Hong Kong model of resistance. In Thailand and Belarus they also learn some of the techniques of the Hong Kong protest. We have expanded our protest power to different parts of the world.

Now I’ve been in Germany for almost three years. After I left Hong Kong, I have been in touch with different Hong Kong people who are in different parts of the world.

The four of us, Zheng Wenjie, Liang Jiping and Lin Rongji and I have organized a platform called Haven Assistance Shelter. Our aim is to share our own experiences of seeking political asylum and to use our network to help those who want to leave Hong Kong and seek political asylum.

Now I am no longer pushing for Hong Kong’s independence.

When I was in Hong Kong, I was a leader of a political party, a leader of a movement. At that time I had the responsibility to promote an imagination to the people of Hong Kong, and at that time our imagination was the independence of Hong Kong.

But after I left Hong Kong, I rethought my position. I couldn’t get in touch with many Hong Kong people in Germany, especially after the National Security Law, and I didn’t dare to communicate too much with my friends in Hong Kong, because I was afraid I would put them in danger.

I don’t think it is my role to give an imagination or too much advice to the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

To be honest, I really miss everything about Hong Kong. I miss the people, even the nasty weather. I miss the scenery, I miss the food, I miss the subway stations with lots of people in Hong Kong.

I think there is hope. Especially since the anti-sending campaign started last year, I have seen Hong Kong people’s persistence, our creativity, our ability, and I think we Hong Kong people can finally win this struggle, it’s just a matter of time. I also believe that I will be able to return to my hometown in my lifetime.