President Tsai visits Taipei bookstore of Hong Kong dissident
Taipei, May 29 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) visited Causeway Bay Books in Taipei on Friday to express her support for Lam Wing-kee (林榮基) and his first store opening in Taiwan, after his shop in Hong Kong was closed due to political persecution.
While there, Tsai thanked him for his work to support human rights and freedom in Hong Kong and said her administration has set up a task force to assist people in Hong Kong whose security and freedoms are at risk due to political factors.
Her comments came a day after China passed a national security law that could undermine freedom and rule of law in Hong Kong.
The proposed law is widely seen as an effort by the Chinese government to take full control of Hong Kong after a year of pro-democracy protests in the special administrative region.
On Friday, Tsai said she was also there to learn from Lam what kind of special assistance Hong Kongers might need to come to Taiwan.
The bookstore founder thanked the president and the people of Taiwan for their support of Hong Kong.
Lam was one of five shareholders and staff at Causeway Bay Books which sold books critical of Chinese leaders.
He disappeared into Chinese custody at the end of 2015 and was released on bail and allowed to return to Hong Kong in June 2016 to retrieve a hard drive listing the bookstore's customers.
Instead, he jumped bail and went public, detailing how he was detained and blindfolded by police after crossing the border into Shenzhen, China, and spent months being interrogated.
In April last year, Lam fled to Taiwan over concerns he would be extradited to China under a controversial extradition bill that was being considered by the Hong Kong government, but has since been withdrawn.
During his time in Taiwan, Lam raised nearly NT$6 million (US$200,000) through an online fundraising website to fund his plan to reopen the bookstore, which was officially inaugurated on April 25.
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