Rift Between Hong Kong and China Over Bookseller

on Jul 7, 2016

Another disagreement has emerged between the Chinese maintain and the pseudo-independent city-state Hong Kong. Ever since the British returned control of Hong Kong back to the Chinese, various spats between the two have persisted. China has a vested interested in unifying the whole of what the government considers of being ‘China,’ while many in Hong Kong wish to remain semi-autonomous.

The most recent spat between the two is the bookseller Lam Wing-kee. A group of five individuals, including Mr. Lam, operated a legal publishing business in Hong Kong that criticized leaders of the Chinese Communist Party and portrayed them in a bad light. The books were banned in China and they received heavy criticism from the Chinese government. Last year, Mr. Lam and his associates disappeared from Hong Kong and later reappeared in China. Chinese security agents apparently detained Mr. Lam and the other publishers and questioned them on their publications.

Just last month, Lam was able to return to Hong Kong under the condition that he give his customer’s information to Chinese officials, he alleges. Instead of following these orders, he instead held a press conference to detail his ordeal in the mainland. Lam claimed he was mistreated in the mainland and has no intention of returning. Chinese officials countered and said his books were illegal and should he not return to the mainland; China would take further legal actions to rectify the situation.
Mr. Lam was held in Ningbo, a city near Shanghai, for several months. The Ningbo police have stated publically that Mr. Lam has violated his parole terms and should return to China immediately. However, Lai Tung-Kwok, Kong’s Secretary for Security, said publically that no legal agreement exists between China and the city-state that requires the turning over of people to Chinese officials. As it stands now, Kong officials have taken a firm stance against the mainland and have said they have no intention of forcing Lam Wing-kee back to the mainland.

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