In the last edition of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily published on the 24th, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her regret in a personal Facebook post! Tsai said emotionally, “I want to tell the authoritarians who secretly rejoice that freedom and democracy are like a tree, which may be cut down at the waist, but the seeds have long been sprinkled in every corner of the land, and there are always a few seeds that will grow into another big tree.”
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen posted that when the media was forced to forget June 4 and stopped paying attention to the Wei Yuan candlelight, Apple Daily never forgot this day. When the media was forced to self-censor and silence the anti-Send-China demonstrations, Apple Daily was always on the same side as the Hong Kong people fighting for democracy and freedom. When the media was forced to bend to the main theme of stability and development in Beijing, Apple Daily stood firm and unyielding, speaking out for the voices of Hong Kong people.
But she wants to tell the authoritarians who secretly rejoice that freedom and democracy are like a tree that may be cut down, but the seeds have been scattered in every corner of the land, and there are always a few seeds that will grow into another big tree.
Tsai Ing-wen said that freedom-loving people should support each other, which is the warmth that Taiwan feels from the international community in the midst of the epidemic. At this moment, the international community is also on the side of Hong Kong people, worried about the regression of freedom and democracy in Hong Kong. Tsai Ing-wen wants to tell Hong Kong people once again: “Free Taiwan will always support the freedom of Hong Kong. I also hope that the hope for freedom and democracy buried deep in the hearts of Hong Kong people will one day make the Pearl of the Orient shine again.”
Lin Fei-fan: Hong Kong has lost more than just a newspaper, the world is losing Hong Kong
Lin Feifan, the leader of the Sunflower student movement in Taiwan and deputy secretary general of the Democratic Progressive Party, wrote on his personal Facebook page, “Hong Kong has come to this situation and has lost more than just a newspaper; and today, the world is also losing Hong Kong, watching her being distorted into something else.” Lin Feifan said, “If we, the generation of Taiwanese and Hong Kong activists, had any common wish, I think it would be that in our lifetime, we could witness the fall of the Chinese Communist Party, that Hong Kong could return to a free Hong Kong, and that Taiwan could walk with its head held high in the world and no longer be suppressed!”
Lin Fei-fan told the station, “This is a big setback to the freedom of press and freedom of expression in Hong Kong as a whole. The Hong Kong government chose to move the Hong Kong Apple Daily before July 1. They hope to use the Hong Kong National Security Law to let the public know that in the future, they must also accept a certain degree of censorship on speech, I think this is their purpose, hoping to have the effect of maintaining stability before July 1.”
Lam Fei Fan believes that his responsibility is to let more friends in the world who care about Hong Kong to understand more about the situation that is happening in Hong Kong and to have more unity to continue to face China’s suppression of Hong Kong.
Fan Wan calls on the world to remember the painful moment when Hong Kong’s freedom of speech disappeared!
The editorial of the Hong Kong Apple Daily is titled “A farewell letter to Hong Kong people”, saying “The Apple is dead, freedom of the press is a victim of tyranny”. Fan Yun, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who was involved in Taiwan’s Wild Lily Movement, pointed out in an interview with this station that today’s farewell letter on the last day made the whole world and the people of Taiwan very sad, and she also hoped to remember with the whole world the disappearance of freedom of speech in Hong Kong, this painful moment! “There is no dictatorship in the world that can exist forever, and the world is about to join in the search for the real source of the Wuhan pneumonia virus, and the Chinese Communist regime cannot suppress the truth forever. This moment is especially painful for the people of Hong Kong, and the people of Taiwan our job and responsibility is to remember together.”
Taiwan moves from martial law to lifting newspaper ban while Hong Kong press freedom tightens step by step
In Taiwan, during the martial law era under the Kuomintang, the “Martial Law Period Publication Control Measures” became a curse, and the party-state apparatus controlled the newspaper industry and clamped down on press freedom.
In contrast to Taiwan, which went from martial law to freedom of expression, and Hong Kong, which went from an environment of a hundred newspapers to a step-by-step tightening, Lin Tuoshui, a founding member of the Democratic Progressive Party, told us that Taiwan went from tightening to having to relax under the people’s resistance, while Hong Kong is on the opposite path. Lin said pessimistically that he unfortunately could not see where Hong Kong would end up. “I don’t see optimistic signs in the foreseeable future. I do think that China’s comprehensive tightening is not only for Hong Kong, but also for Taiwan, where Taiwanese personnel in Hong Kong are forced to evacuate. I think China is now experiencing a setback that could be unprecedentedly huge.”
According to Lin’s analysis, Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China, has made slight adjustments in his “war wolf diplomacy” to try to create a “credible, lovable and respectable” image. However, this does not match with the suspension of the Apple Daily or the forced withdrawal of Taiwan’s office in Hong Kong.
Lin Yunshui: “So I think it looks like China is facing a very big problem, and his unrealistic ultra-nationalism of national rejuvenation of a big country seems to have caused a very big backlash both domestically and internationally. When he encounters such a big backlash, it would be very unfortunate for China and even the world if he takes a further step towards tightening the degree of freedom of the nationals, as well as taking a tougher attitude towards Taiwan or Hong Kong, or even towards the rest of the world.”
Fan also agreed that Hong Kong people were fully aware of the value of freedom and democracy, but as freedom disappears day by day, the pain and sense of being oppressed becomes stronger. This is why we can see that young people in Hong Kong are going to fight to keep their democratic freedom on campus and the future of Hong Kong as a whole. “Now they can feel their frustration and frustration when they are forced to be unable to speak out. As China and Hong Kong’s economy and information grow, there can’t be a regime that will suppress, forever, the power of freedom of the press and freedom of speech.”
Chen Fangming: The British Hong Kong era was the freest era in Hong Kong
Chen Fangming, Chair Professor at the Institute of Taiwan Literature, National Chengchi University, once experienced the White Terror and lived in exile overseas for many years. Chen Fangming recalls that when he was young, he had to ask his friends in Hong Kong to send him books or smuggle them into Taiwan because he wanted to sneak in bandit books during the martial law era. Chen Fangming lamented, “In his time, Hong Kong was the freest place, once all the books published by Chinese publishers could be seen in Hong Kong, and I was able to buy books all from Hong Kong.”
Chen Fangming: “I still bought books from Hong Kong after I came to the United States, because at that time I was still studying Chinese history, and there were many important Chinese works that the library could not buy, so I asked my friends in Hong Kong to buy them for me, and Hong Kong was probably the freest time under British rule.”
The Taiwan Land Commission responded by pointing out that “this unfortunate incident not only sounded the death knell for freedom of the press, publication and expression in Hong Kong, but also showed the international community the totalitarian and authoritarian Chinese Communist regime’s all-out repressive tactics to combat dissent. Humanity’s pursuit of universal values such as freedom and democracy will not be ended by history, but history will forever record the ugly face of those in power in suppressing freedom.”