【Self-Censorship】 how China limits freedom of expression \English Subtitle


852 2824 6 111 (Advertisement from the Hong Kong Tourism Board) (Advertisement from the Hong Kong Tourism Board ) Thank you for calling the immigration office. Please dial “one” for Cantonese. Thank you for calling the immigration office. Please dial “two” for Mandarin. Hi, this is Peng Liting from visa request.
(The Voice of an Immigration Department officer How can I help you?
(The Voice of an Immigration Department officer) Good afternoon, sir. This is the story, I’m calling from Taiwan. I applied for a Hong Kong visa on your online service website, but it was declined. On the website you can click on the visa yourself to see if it’s been approved. If it’s not working online, there’s a download option. You can apply with other documents to enter Hong Kong. Brother Jackie Chan. We can’t tell you over the telephone whether your application has been successful. Also have you submitted documents for verification? So I need verification? The Hong Kong government still needs to verify my application to get a visa? That’s right. Okay. So if I once was critical of the Hong Kong government, would that cause my application to be declined? I see. So now in your situation how about applying for the visa using other documents? Or was my application declined because I was critical of the Chinese government? For you. I can’t tell. We can only check the computer and find out the result. We don’t know your situation. Jackie Chan and six million Hong Kongers welcome you always. Recently many acquaintances just like me
( Advertisement from the Hong Kong Tourism Board ) are not being welcomed by Jackie Chan. To be treated like this is quite saddening for I’ve always liked Hong Kong. Hong Kong even issued my first ever visa. I’ve visited frequently over the last five years to have cultural exchanges. It never occurred to me that due to this film, Hong Kong, the “City of Life”, would become the “City of Ice” to me. Hong Kong is not letting me in. Really?
( Hu Jia, Chinese Social Activist )
( Nobel Peace Prize Nominee ) Yes, the Hong Kong government declined my visa.
( Hu Jia, Chinese Social Activist )
( Nobel Peace Prize Nominee ) I thought that they’d maybe stop me from entering after the film was screened. I didn’t expect that they’d decline my application just knowing I’m shooting this film. Well… then this is quite intriguing. It shows they have their eye on you, that you are on their blacklist. You’re dealing with issues that concern China, and this has upset Beijing. So the Hong Kong government has received an order to decline your visa application. My Hong Kong friends tell me
( Three Months prior to Visa Rejection June, 2017) they’ve stopped you entering
( Three Months prior to Visa Rejection June, 2017 ) because they don’t want to go through the effort of making you disappear in China. The number of people being imprisoned by the communists is increasing. For example, the Beijing artist the same age as me Hua Yong,
( Hua Yong, Performance Artist ) once took some video on his mobile
( Hua Yong, Performance Artist ) to edit into a report. He subsequently got arrested. I’m Hua Yong. I’m in Daxing district in Beijing right now. This is Jianxin village in Xihongmen town.
( November, 2017 ) Xinjian village actually.
( November, 2017 ) There are hundreds of farmers here blocking the whole road. The slogan they were shouting earlier was something to do with food. We want to eat and stay warm. Please say that again. We want to eat and stay warm. In November 2017, in Daxing district in the suburbs of Beijing, a fire that started in an apartment. ended up costing nineteen lives. So using health and safety issues as the excuse, on a freezing night of sub-zero temperatures, the Beijing government started to evict millions of “low-end population”. Take them away. What are you doing? Just keep moving. Stop pushing. Don’t you have parents? Keep moving. They’re hitting people. They hit someone. We’re here to solve the problem. We’re solving the problem. The armed police had arrived. These video clips forced Hua Yong to change his look. He cut his hair and fled Beijing that night. Beijing is an important political center.
( Hu Jia, Chinese Social Activist )
( Nobel Peace Prize Nominee ) The foreign media are here
( Hu Jia, Chinese Social Activist )
( Nobel Peace Prize Nominee ) including from Hong Kong and Taiwan. They come here too. When there are clashes with the police, which often happens, they can be videoed or recorded. The communist government don’t think this is acceptable. They think it smears their reputation. What smears their reputation is of course not these realistic reports. What really shames the Chinese government is their cruel bureaucracy. Who on earth gave the order to evict millions of low-end population in three days? A video clip has leaked out showing it was a member of the Chinese Political Bureau, the Secretary of Beijing, Cai Qi. When conflict happens at ground level,
( Cai Qi, Secretary of Beijing Municipal Committee ) there’s going to be real knives and guns.
( Cai Qi, Secretary of Beijing Municipal Committee ) There has to be blood on the bayonets. There has to be tough confrontation. You have to solve the problem. Without this kind of attitude when carrying out our tasks, sooner or later anything could happen in our own territory. The slightest thing that happens in the capital can be a big deal. This speech reveals the Chinese political power’s concerns. Once the millions of migration workers in Beijing become redundant due to the decline of the Chinese economy, these people will undoubtedly become the most unstable factor in Chinese politics. The Chinese communists know this better than anyone else. Because they gained power after the proletariat revolution, getting everything under control and reducing any subversive social energy are the most important tasks in maintaining power. Open the door or we’ll break it down. Why are you knocking on the door at midnight? What are we doing? We’re the police. So you’re the police.
( Hua Yong in a friend’s home, Tianjin )
( December 15th, 2017 ) I’m not the owner of this place.
( Hua Yong in a friend’s home, Tianjin )
( December 15th, 2017 ) Hua Yong, is that you? It’s me. Are you a man or what? What has this got to do with being a man? Who can save you now? Well, why do I… I don’t need to be saved. Come on, come out now. It’s the 15th, three days to my daughter’s birthday. My baby, I can’t be there for your birthday. I thought since I couldn’t make it there,
( Hua Yong prior to Being Arrested by the Public Security Police )
( December 15th, 2017 ) I’d make a video on the 18th
( Hua Yong prior to Being Arrested by the Public Security Police )
( December 15th, 2017 ) to sing you happy birthday. But I can’t even do that. So I’ll sing the song for you right now. There are lots of cops outside. They’ve even found my friends too. I reckon that in no time that door will open and I’ll have to go with them. I will use this last bit of time to sing you a song. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday my baby, happy birthday to you. All the things I do is so that your generation doesn’t have to go through the things your dad and granddad have been through. I want our country to be better. It has to be fair, free and democratic. We need to have freedom of speech. That each of us can dare to speak truly and publicly on the broad streets in radiant sunshine. This is my contribution to this country. I’m willing to sacrifice my own body to protect our civil right to speak truly, this civil right as a citizen. My baby daughter, Daddy loves you, Daddy loves you. The Norwegian Nobel Committee
( Thorbjørn Jagland, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee )
( October 18th, 2010 ) has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010
( Thorbjørn Jagland, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee )
( October 18th, 2010 ) to Liu Xiaobo for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. It’s a ridiculous fact that Liu Xiaobo, one of the “Four Gentlemen” of Tiananmen Square, was awarded the Nobel Peace prize, yet most Chinese people haven’t even heard of him. When tourists are taking photos with the portrait of the strongman in the square, they haven’t the slightest idea that on June 4th, 1989, young people’s blood reddened this square. Take a bow. ( Hua Yong at Tiananmen Square, Beijing )
( June 4th, 2012 ) In 2012, I was standing in this square and I broke my own nose. I wrote the two numbers 6 and 4 on my forehead and then got arrested. I was imprisoned for one year and three months. Some three hundred days… Four hundred days. They charged me for no reason. Our country is a country without freedom of speech. 28 years have passed since June 4th. Why can’t we talk about it, right? Two months after Hua Yong was arrested, I came to where he used to live, the Songzhung Art Village. Hundreds of free artists from all over China live here. Beijing then designated it a cultural and creative district. This time I went there for “Unveil the Truth I: Government Virus” to participate in China’s most influential independent film festival. It was then I witnessed how belligerent and unreasonable the Chinese government is. The opening film “Egg and Stone” only screened for 30 minutes before the electricity was cut off. The festival was scheduled for 9 days, but it was forced to close on day five. Notice. We have been informed by the government that the ninth Beijing Independent Film Festival has to close down today. Please be advised. Is this a joke? It’s not a joke. They’ve done it. Let me have a closer look. What the fuck? You should report this. “Informed by the government”? “Closing down”… A notice… This is like going back to ancient times. We saw the notice on the door. Would you like to talk about it? Well, personally I think it’s because
( Wang Hongwei, Art Director )
( The Ninth Beijing Independent Film Festival ) we’ve been having an impact
( Wang Hongwei, Art Director )
( The Ninth Beijing Independent Film Festival ) so it’s caused the government to get anxious. Therefore they’ve put a banning order on us and want us to stop the festival. Is that right? Is today an ultimatum? Yes, and we have to cooperate, right? To cooperate with the government. We have to show a cooperative attitude. In terms of form or content? We may agree to do so in both, but we may not agree either. So maybe tomorrow there’ll be no screenings? That’s possible because we don’t know what action they will take to stop us. ( The 11th Beijing Independent Film Festival )
( The Day before the Opening ) The event is cancelled for nobody knows what measures the communists will take to interrupt the film festival. In August 2014, the 11th Beijing Independent Film Festival was being held in Songzhung as usual. “Unveil the Truth II: State Apparatus”, my film about fighting bureaucracy, happened to be screening in the documentary category. However, it was even worse this time. They were forced to shut down
before it even got started. Festival-goers from all over the country were expelled by the police
and some undercover people. All the films, computers, hard drives and account records were seized. Everybody, come here. Get closer. Seeing what happened to the film festival and what’s going on in Songzhung village, it’s reminds me of the American creative-thinking author, Michael Michalko and his fictional conditioning experiment, “The Tale of Five Monkeys”. The experiment goes like this. A scientist locks five monkeys into the same cage. He puts a bunch of bananas at the top of the cage. When the first monkey sees the bananas and climbs up the ladder, the scientist not only sprays this monkey with ice water, but also punishes
the other four watching monkeys with ice water. When the second, third, fourth and fifth monkeys want to climb to get the bananas, the scientist takes the same collective measure to punish all the monkeys. So the monkeys learn their lesson. No matter which one climbs for the bananas, they will all be punished. Even though the bananas are delicious, they can’t be touched. Although they can’t have the bananas, they still have banana peels to feed on. If we equate the bananas with democracy and freedom, it’s natural to want to climb up for them. When we change our nature to settle for the peels, that’s conditioning. So Songzhung village and the whole of China is a super huge cage. To live or die is completely up to the controller. ( Cheung Chau Pier, Hong Kong ) I don’t like this cover story. It’s too political. I prefer this one. Is the Apple Daily still the best seller? This is number one.
( Mr. Hua, Newsstand Owner ) This is second.
( Mr. Hua, Newsstand Owner ) So the Apple Daily is still on top? I don’t like its political affiliation. That’s anti-communist. I love the communists. The handover of Hong Kong was 20 years ago. Many people think like Mr. Hua. China represents a vast market and strong economic power. Whether it’s Chow Tai Fook or Zhou Liu Fu, a real brand or a fake one, anything goes just as long as they can make money. During the 1998 financial crisis, it was China that saved Hong Kong. However, even more people think that over the last 20 years democracy and nomocracy in Hong Kong has deteriorated. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region a fireworks show is going to be held at 8pm on July 1st at Victoria Harbour. When attending the fireworks show, please keep the area clean. ( The Transfer of Sovereignty over Hong Kong to China )
( July 1st, 1997 ) In 2017, almost 20 years after the handover, an ad glorifying “one country, two systems” into having made Hong Kong into a free, dynamic, diverse city was played continually by the Hong Kong government. While the dazzling handover fireworks blinded many people, sometimes not seeing enables one to see things better. Can we feed on democracy? That’s wrong. That’s a very short-sighted way
( Wu Zi-ming, Hong Kong Citizen ) of seeing things. When the communists get an inch, they take a yard. Do you think if you give in, they will stop enslaving you? Without democracy and nomocracy you can lose your property overnight. So how can you feel that China has been interfering, when others who can see can’t? Why is that? It’s not that they can’t see. Some are pretending to be asleep. If you now ask for directions or buy something in Mandarin, you’ll very often get an impatient, unfriendly reaction over the last few years. I’ve been wondering is this because Hong Kongers are so busy they’ve become impatient or do they find Mandarin repulsive? My Hong Kong friend told me that it’s both. Especially after 2008, when the melamine milk scandal broke in China and the RMB’s strength against the HK dollar, many Chinese people flooded into Hong Kong as individual tourists to snap up milk powder, diapers and medicine, the daily necessities. So Chinese tourists and Hong Kong residents have got in more confrontations. There are some parallel traders over there.
( Huang Tai-yan, Founder, Hong Kong Indigenous ) They come to Hong Kong to buy their goods, have some food and then head back to Shenzhen. They can do a few return trips a day. There are fewer of them today because it’s raining. But you can still see that there are some shops over there that have reserved space for the parallel traders to leave their suitcases. Originally this area was a very ordinary community. There were a few shops to serve the locals. But as more parallel traders came in to buy things here, more pharmacies opened up. Or shops just selling cosmetics, the things the Chinese buy when they come to Hong Kong. How about the original stall sellers? They are all gone or they have closed down or moved somewhere else. The rents have increased dramatically. Two to three times more? Two to three times. All of these… that’s them. Do Hong Kongers usually buy medicine every day? No, they don’t. All the goods left outside the doors are for the parallel traders. Milk powder. It’s all milk powder. The Chinese parallel traders Huang Tai-yan was talking about are what the Taiwanese call “surrogate shoppers”. They come from Lowu or Lokmachau. They go between Hong Kong and Shenzhen a few times a day. The already packed MTR and East Rail Line can barely handle any more. The conflict between the traders and locals is getting fiercer. ( Recover Sheung Shui )
( September 6th, 2015 ) In 2015, some young Hong Kongers started a campaign against the parallel traders, which made the conflict even worse. This problem
( Huang Tai-yan, Founder, Hong Kong Indigenous ) has been in Hong Kong for a long, long time.
( Huang Tai-yan, Founder, Hong Kong Indigenous ) Several pan-democratic Council members or some citizen groups have fought to introduce rational measures in the past. The government however play deaf. They don’t listen. They simply say that Hong Kongers should just tolerate and accept it. But who would sympathize with us? So as more Hong Kongers became furious we started the recovery campaign. At the time we and the police and the Chinese parallel traders had some severe conflicts. After a few confrontations we put great pressure on society, China and the Hong Kong government. According to some, the China-Hong Kong conflict triggered by those traders shows the Hong Kongers desire to return to English colonization. But whether it was Recover Sheung Shui or Recover Yuen Long, the participants in these campaigns were nearly all young people who’d never even experienced colonization. They truly felt the changes after the handover. The parallel traders have squashed the public living space in Hong Kong. This had a deep impact on Lu Jinchi, a well-known visually-impaired Hong Kong poet. When I step out from my doorstep to the metro station, the ten-minute journey is a very important route in my daily life that overlaps with the tourist route. The ones that speak Mandarin are tourists. And the ones that cause the problems that the Hong Kongers are more aware of are the parallel traders. Parallel traders are the ones that go between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. They bring back goods to Shenzhen and make a profit on them. They carry the goods to the metro. But the metro is already very packed. Disabled people like me carry a walking stick to get through the crowd. But suddenly a trolley can come out of nowhere and run over in front of me.
( Lu Jinchi, Hong Kong Poet ) And this kind of experience
( Lu Jinchi, Hong Kong Poet ) isn’t happening in a place where we should feel we’re alien. It’s happening in our own neighborhood. It’s like we’re being intruded on by some very foreign strangers. And it’s unavoidable. Besides the China-Hong Kong conflict with the parallel traders, the Communists “Migration to Reinforce Frontier” policy in Tibet is being used against Hong Kong. Since 1997, the population of Hong Kong has increased by more than one million in twenty years. I live in an estate in the city. I’m facing a window now. There’s a park outside the window. I’m on the fifth floor. There’s a park down there. There are a lot of “aunties” there. Most of them are middle-aged women playing with children. Or they will do some exercise. What’s quite fascinating is that in Hong Kong, some of these people we see might be new immigrants, and when they’re doing exercise they will play some music that is popular only in mainland China. The music that goes along with their exercise is quite different from Hong Kong culture. We call it “Auntie square-dancing”. Dance, everybody dance, Dance the Chinese dream, to make life shine. Dance, everybody dance, China on the dance, to make the world shine. Dance. I reckon that the new generation of children under ten years old speak Mandarin and use Mandarin twice as frequently than before. In the past, out of every ten children, eight of them spoke Cantonese. Now there’s probably only five. Where once eight spoke Cantonese, now only four or five speak Mandarin. This kind of ratio showing linguistic change and makes me feel that the whole society is changing. This because population transience and the many various people who have come to Hong Kong. These tangible changes can be perceived by the Hong Kongers, while the intangible control can’t be sensed by many of them. However my visually impaired friend, Wu Zi-ming, can see through this. Am I there? No, you have to go through there. Not here. Over there? Put your hand on my arm. Let me guide you. I’m visually impaired. Thanks so much. Be careful. The floor’s slippery. Thanks. Keep going. Here you are. Great. Due to retinal detachment, Wu lost his sight ten years ago. I’d like a half dozen Yanjing beer. A dozen? I can’t carry a dozen. Just a half dozen. A half dozen beer? Yes, please. Don’t you want some fruit today? No fruit for me today. I’ll wait till the tenth. But the grapes are fresh. I know. The apples are good too. I know. Would you like some mango? We’ve got some sweet Elena mango. I know, but I don’t have the money. No money. This is your octopus card. And your receipt. Be careful. Take your time. Okay. Which way are you going? Thank you. Thanks so much. Take your time. You’re welcome. I’ve got no money. Wu was once a successful businessman. After he lost his sight, he spent his time listening to TV. Wu ridicules himself as being “a blind goal getter”. When this blind goal getter encounters a red line, he will cross it no matter the cost. Take “How Does the Red Sun Rise” for instance. It’s about how Mao Zedong got into power using his maneuvers. It is listed as a banned book by the Hong Kong library. The book is written by Guo Hua. The writer is a Chinese author. “How Does the Red Sun Rise”.
( Wu Zi-ming, Hong Kong Citizen ) Four years ago I asked the library for blind people about it. I was wondering if they would make it into a tape for us. That is, make an audio book. He said, okay. Four years have passed and nothing has happened. I found it so bizarre that finally one day I called and asked them about it. The girl on the phone told me that she had checked with the main library and gone through the catalogue. The book was now listed as banned. I was furious. A banned book? Banned books only exist under totalitarian rule. Now there are banned books in Hong Kong. She said it was a banned book. We can’t let you listen to it. We won’t make it into an audio book. So after that I filed complaints everywhere. Hi, this is the library. Hi, is Miss Chung there? Sorry, she’s out at the moment. I’m Miss Tsai. How can I help you? Hello, Miss Tsai. I’m member 2614, Wu Zi-ming. Yes. I’d like to request a few books. Sure, just a moment please. What books would you like to request? There’s a book called “A Tumultuous 50 Years between the Communists and Me” Do you have that one? No, we don’t. Okay. How about “The Truth of Jiang Zemin”? “The Truth of Jiang Zemin”… We don’t have that one, either. Not that one, either. This is what I live for. This is food for my soul. I like to read books in the blind library. So I tell them every time not to degrade themselves, not censor themselves. You have to stand up to it. Otherwise there will be no food for the soul for us blind people. Due to the constant complaints and protests “How Does the Red Sun Rise” is finally not banned anymore. But for the Commercial Radio Hong Kong radio show that Wu listens to everyday, “The Tipping Point” there’s no way back. In an office with a splendid sea view we meet the hostess of “The Tipping Point”, Li Wei-ling. One day when I returned to the office, I was informed that I had been transferred from my morning show to an evening one
( Li Wei-ling, Political Radio Show Host ) for no reason.
( Li Wei-ling, Political Radio Show Host ) “It was just an internal reshuffle.” After several months or thereabouts, two or three months later, all of a sudden one day after a morning shift, I went out around noon to Central to have lunch with my interviewees. After lunch I received a What’sApp message on my phone from my company, and it read, “You’re fired.” “You don’t have to come back to pack up.” “We will pack up all your stuff” “by tonight” “and send it to your place” That was it. I didn’t see that coming at all. Li Wei-ling
joined Commercial Radio Hong Kong in 2004 and started hosting “The Tipping Point”. She often criticized Hong Kong and Chinese officials on her show. In 2005, Ching Cheong, a senior journalist at Singapore’s The Strait Times, was detained by China on allegations of spying. The Hong Kong Journalists Association and Reporters Without Borders expressed their support
and tried to help him at the time. On Li’s radio show, she also started the “Audio Yellow Ribbon” campaign. In fact, the success of “Audio Yellow Ribbon”… The reason why it was so successful as far as I am concerned, the most successful part, was not that someone merely spoke up for Ching Cheong. Its significance was that somebody continuously spoke up for him. It was about continuity. At the time my old classmates organized a concern group. They were figuring out every day how to keep my case alive and in the news. At least keeping it in the news
( Ching Cheong, Former Correspondent )
( The Strait Times, Singapore ) would keep people’s attention on it and not let it cool down. For if it had cooled down, it would have been the end for me. “Audio Yellow Ribbon”… Some of my journalist friends started the “Audio Yellow Ribbon” campaign on the radio. A tiny piece of news every day to appeal my case. Due to this societal pressure, the government had to take action. At the time, from what I could see, it was my family who stood up against all of it first, they stood and faced up to it. The libel and slander thrown at me then were all very serious. I was accused of “receiving money” from Taiwan, and the reason they gave was that I needed the money because I was having an affair. They wove all these lies. So my wife was under huge pressure. The campaign continued for more than 3 years.
( Li Wei-ling, Political Radio Show Host ) During the 3 years
( Li Wei-ling, Political Radio Show Host ) that Ching Cheong was detained we counted the days for him on our show every day. “This is the first day of Ching Cheong’s detention on the mainland.” “This is the 101st day of Ching Cheong’s detention on the mainland.” “This is the 501th day that Ching Cheong was detain on the mainland.” We asked the Hong Kong people to remember this every day. Sometimes, because people are so busy with their own lives, when they are on a quest for justice the biggest enemy is time. For people forget. Ching Cheong was detained for almost one thousand days. The campaign also lasted for more than 3 years. The senior management at Commercial Radio Hong Kong complimented Li Wei-ling for doing a good deed for Hong Kong at the time and doing good for the station too. Who would have thought that ten years later, when the station needed to renew its license, that Li would become a sinner instead of a hero. The backstage manipulator was the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region. The so-called Central Liaison Office. You may ask what impact such a tiny Liaison Office can have? The Liaison Office is the shadow government in Hong Kong. It can not only manipulate Hong Kong’s financial and property enterprises, it can also interfere with the media. Take the one the communists hate most, Next Digital Ltd. The Liaison Office directly asked companies to withdraw their yearly HK$200 million advertising budget from Apple Daily and Next Magazine. Of course for media outlets that are not so compliant, it’s pretty straightforward to do this. However, there aren’t many media outlets left in Hong Kong that need to have their ads withdrawn by the Liaison Office. They have already gone on to having tea with the big media owners or awarded them a title like Political Consultative Conference member. As a matter of fact, most media bosses have established a relationship with Beijing. This is the so-called the unspoken rule. Gradually and imperceptibly, they have been getting on friendly terms with the Liaison Office. The senior management of Hong Kong’s media, including the owners themselves, have been communicating with the Office on a daily basis. As far as I know, many Liaison officials phone and communicate with senior newspaper editors everyday. The contact is very close, and it has all happened in last few years. This naturally has had a great impact. One says something and the other receives. In Hong Kong, the Liaison Office can intervene in personnel matters. And in Taiwan, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council can influence critical Taiwanese political shows and their hosts too. “Big Talk News” has been going for 10 years. In this last episode, there’s only 10 minutes to go. I want to give this time over to our guests. Go on. Cheng Hung-yi, go on! Cheng Hung-yi, don’t go. On May 31st, 2012, Cheng Hung-yi, the host of “Big Talk News”, a critical political show with very high ratings, unexpectedly handed in his resignation. 5 months later, a regular guest of the show, Zhong Nian-huang, pointed out the real reason for Cheng quitting. The Chinese government kept dropping hints
to the TV company that they had to deal with “Big Talk News”. I think that we’re seeing more and more of the People’s Daily
( Cheng Hung-yi, Political TV Show Host )
( November 17th, 2012 ) and the Xinhua News Agency in Taiwan. More and more of Beijing’s… what TV station is that? China Central Television, CCTV. You’ll be even seeing this very soon. I really can’t believe that when I’m opening a newspaper, it feels more like the People’s Daily than the People’s Daily itself. This is the most shocking thing for me. Once Hong Kong’s sovereignty was transferred to China in 1997, Chinese capital co-opted the media both directly and indirectly. In just 10 years, Hong Kong’s major media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, had either become Chinese-funded enterprises or turned pro-Chinese. The only one left that dares to criticize China publicly is the Apple Daily. Let’s look back at November 2nd, 2008, when Yu Chien-shin, hurt badly by Lehman Brothers’ collapse, was about to sell the China Times Media Group to Jimmy Li, the founder of the Apple Daily. Tsai Eng-ming, who made his fortune in China by making rice crackers,
( From Want Want Holdings Website ) dramatically elbowed into the sale. A month later, Tsai reported to Wang Yi, the director of the Taiwan Affairs Office, on the purchase of the China Times Media Group
( From “CommonWealth Magazine” ) and expressed his hope in using this media influence in making progress in developments across the Strait. Wang immediately replied to Tsai indicating that if his Want Want Holdings needed any future help, the Taiwan Affairs Office would be fully supportive. I didn’t like to read when I was young,
( Tsai Eng-ming, Chairman, Want Want China Times Media Group )
( China Times’ 60th anniversary ) and I seldom read newspapers either.
( Tsai Eng-ming, Chairman, Want Want China Times Media Group )
( China Times’ 60th anniversary ) When I started learning the media business, I went through a lot of difficult moments. My words and deeds were being examined closely, and my good-hearted motive to run a media business was often twisted and slandered. At the time, I got really depressed. I described myself then as a little bulldog that found itself in a jungle. Aside from the China Times Media Group, in 2011, Tsai also planned on purchasing the biggest cable TV systems operator in Taiwan, CNS. This caused many scholars and media reformation groups to become very concerned. If this deal had gone through, Chinese control over Taiwan’s media would have made a huge step. Taiwan’s freedom of speech and democratic development
( Week of Communication Freedom 123, December, 2012 ) would definitely have been affected.
( Week of Communication Freedom 123, December, 2012 ) Later on when Tsai participated in the acquisition of Next Digital in Taiwan, the howls of protest against a media monopoly reached their apex. Can we leave everything to be decided by the free market system? That is, not to introduce any regulations or stop monopolies? If there was only one kind of opinion in the media, then all the information it releases, indeed everything, would be exactly the same. Consequently, all the news we’d see, and all the knowledge we’d receive, would be all the same. The world would be homogeneous. Would that be such a bad thing? Would it be possible that everybody would remain quiet or be very happy if that’s the way it was? But this world is not a fairy tale. Not all fairy tales have a happy ending. We are here to strongly request that… I believe that some people will say
( Students surrounding Chung T’ien TV Station )
( July 31st, 2012 ) whether there’s a monopoly in traditional media
( Students surrounding Chung T’ien TV Station )
( July 31st, 2012 ) doesn’t matter. And that the news we access now all comes from social media anyway. But don’t forget that all shared information still originates in the traditional media. Even if it prints less than fifty thousand copies every day, it still has a very strong influence setting the issues. Take August 7th, 2012, for example.
( Rescuing Chung Ting-pang Campaign )
( August 7th, 2012 ) When the director of ARATS, Chen Yunlin, came to visit Taiwan, a Taiwanese citizen, Chung Ting-pang, had already been illegally detained by China for 51 days. His family and supporters gathered around Ketagalan Boulevard to start a rescue campaign. Of the four major Taiwanese newspapers, only the Apple Daily and the Liberty Times turned up. The next day on the front pages of the China Times and the United Daily News, there was only the news of the sprinter, Liu Xiang, tripping over at the London Olympics. While the Taiwanese were concerned about a media monopoly,
( Anti-Media Monopoly Parade, September 1st, 2012 ) many Chinese were very concerned too.
( Anti-Media Monopoly Parade, September 1st, 2012 ) On October 23rd, 2012, after the Q&A of one of my screenings, an law exchange student from Fujian, China, came to me and said,
“Director, Taiwan has to keep going.” “There can’t be a media monopoly.” So I asked him, why he was so concerned? He told me that if Taiwan’s media became a monopoly, there would be no point trying to get around China’s firewall. In the trading of Taiwan’s traditional media, there is an obvious trace of political manipulation. As for the management of Hong Kong’s new media, it’s also a nerve-wreaking process. Take Initium Media for example. Based in Hong Kong, it aims to stake out a neutral terrain among Chinese readers. In March 2017, it faced a severe financial crisis. Richard Li, the son of Hong Kong’s richest businessman Li Ka-shing, had agreed to take over Initium Media. However after a trip to Beijing, he reversed his decision. The chief editor, Annie Zhang, then came to Taipei to initiate a fund-raising project for an online paywall. I think the most paradoxical thing about this is it’s very hard to attribute an investment failure
( Annie Zhang, Chief Editor, Initium Media ) or the withdrawal of an investor
( Annie Zhang, Chief Editor, Initium Media ) or indeed anything else to political pressure. Because it’s being in a black box. Of course, wherever there’s commercial pressure, there’s definitely commercial calculation too. For Initium burns cash fast, and it’s not making a profit either. So from an investor’s point of view, it’s a rational decision to cancel the investment. You may say there’s political pressure behind this. Did Richard Li go to Beijing? He visited there frequently. And the Hong Kong election had just finished at the time. So how big was the political pressure there? I believe there must have been a political factor. There must have been. For the previous 2 years, Initium Media had kept producing in-depth news features. Why did the communists desperately cut off the financial supply to Initium? In November 2015, it had published a series of reports on how both employers and employees of Causeway Bay Books kept “being disappeared” one after another. That was the reason why. For the last one hundred years, Hong Kong has been the air vent for Chinese people. While communist China was being controlled behind the iron curtain and Taiwan was under 38 years of KMT martial law, Hong Kong was a place of freedom. But now this has all changed. I’d like to make the joke, would you like some coleslaw in Causeway Bay? But being here, I can’t even smile anymore. Causeway Bay Books sells academic books, as well as some banned books such as “Xi JinPing’s Inner Circle Talks”, “Behind the Tianjin Explosions”, “Xi Jinping and his Lovers”, “Big Tigers Alliance against Xi”, “The Erotic Files of Chinese Leaders”, etc. It reminds me of when I was little and the era of banned books in Taiwan, such as “Formosa Magazine”, “Deep Cultivation Magazine”, “The Current Monthly” and “Freedom Era Weekly”. Another one was “The Biography of Jiang Jing-guo”, and it ended up costing a life. The author Jiang Nan was shot dead in the States by the KMT. It’s been 30 years since any books were banned in Taiwan, but it is still going on in Hong Kong. Since October 2015, the shareholders and managers of Causeway Bay Books and its parent company Mighty Current Media were “being disappeared” one after another. ( Anti-Political Kidnap Protest )
( June 17th, 2016 ) How did the staff of Causeway Bay Books go missing? The shareholder Gui Minhai has Swedish nationality. With no record of his departure, he went missing from an apartment in Pattaya, Thailand and ended up in a prison in China. The other two shareholders, Lui Bo and Cheung Jiping, were arrested once they arrived in China. The store manager Lam Wing-kee was arrested at Lowu, on the border between Hong Kong and China. Another shareholder Li Bo was caught in Hong Kong. After being detained in China for 8 months, Lam Wing-kee was allowed to return to Hong Kong for 24 hours. The Chinese government wanted him to hand in the list of clients on his hard-drive requesting banned books. He could then become a witness and walk away from this safe and sound. Fear is like a wall. Outside the wall are your values. Inside the wall is your reality. On June 16th, 2016, Lam Wing-kee, the bookstore manager, was leaning on a mesh fence and smoked 3 cigarettes. While looking at the sign for Festival Walk, he made a significant decision. He decided not to hand over the hard drive to the communists. It was a difficult decision. Standing at the same place, I’m wondering if the same thing happened to you and me, what choice would we make? Hey Mr. Lam. I’m Kevin Lee, the Taiwanese director. Hi. I’m in Kowloon Tong right now beside the mesh fence you smoked those cigarettes on June 16th last year. Did you find it? -Yes, I did. I’m right here. So we were quite curious about if you had handed in the hard drive back then, you could have kept the bookstore going and you would still be with your girlfriend, so why did you.. How did you weigh between reality and your values? I called Lam Wing-kee. He was in the States
( Hearing on Hong Kong Human Rights )
( May 3rd, 2017 ) taking part in a congressional hearing
( Hearing on Hong Kong Human Rights )
( May 3rd, 2017 ) on Hong Kong human rights. A year ago, the Chinese agent
keeping surveillance on him had asked him to arrive at the Lowu checkpoint and to hand over the hard drive at 1:30. However, Lam Wing-kee got off earlier at Kowloon Tong. I had a smoke and finished it pretty quickly. I started another one right after. Someone was smoking beside me too. -Right. I looked at him and he looked back at me. I was worried that he had followed me, especially as his suitcase, a white one, was just beside him. I was very nervous. It was quite a busy corner. When you look to the right, there’s the entrance to Festival Walk, right? And outside… – Kowloon Tong Station. That probably lasted for… It took me around 45 minutes to make up my mind. I had three cigarettes. My brain was running very fast,
(Lam Wing-kee, Former Causeway Bay Books manager) really fast.
(Lam Wing-kee, Former Causeway Bay Books manager) I hesitated. The most difficult part was whether my decision would harm anyone. What would happen to me? What was going to happen in the future? I also thought about another problem. This was a matter of public interest. It wasn’t just my own problem. It wasn’t just their problem. It was a problem for all Hong Kongers. I knew this was the situation. But why did I speak out? If I hadn’t spoken it out, I would’ve been fine. However I was also thinking about how they wanted me to stay in the bookstore to write reports for them. I would have had no freedom. It was rather horrifying. The rest of my life, maybe decades, would be under their control. There was also another consideration. If I brought them the hard drive, would it be right to sell out others? And this wouldn’t be the only time. I’d have to write reports for them. The people who came to pick up books, I ‘d have to sell them out too. It would have been endless. I didn’t want to speak out. I was also thinking about that. But if I spoke out, there’d be one benefit. That it would provide some protection to the Hong Kong people. They wouldn’t dare send anyone to Hong Kong to kidnap someone again. I realize the consequences. And I have to live with them. I know them very well. At this Hong Kong human rights hearing, besides holding up a sign for China to release Gui Minhai, he also held up a sign for the release of Li Ming-che. On the morning of March 19th, my husband Li Ming-che took the Eva airlines’ BR807 flight from Taipei to Macau and then onto China. From the very beginning,
( Li Ching-yu, Li Ming-che’s wife )
( March 24th, 2017 ) I’d been suppressing my worries.
( Li Ching-yu, Li Ming-che’s wife )
( March 24th, 2017 ) I don’t want to be a wife that cries all the time. But Li Ming-che has been missing for 5 days. If the Chinese government has detained or arrested him, please tell us outright. Was Li arrested by the Chinese? After he was missing for 10 days, the Taiwan Affairs Office confirmed that Li was under investigation. Release Li Ming-che. Support Human Rights. Free Ming-che. Free Li Ming-che now. If Li Ming-che isn’t returned home, we won’t go to China. If Li Ming-che isn’t returned home, Which government unit detained Li? What law did he violate? the Chinese government didn’t respond at all. 23 days later, his wife, Li Ching-yu decided to go to China. To Beijing? Yes. Miss Li? Yes. We received a notice from Beijing. We’ve been told that your Taiwan Compatriot Permit or your ID card is invalid. When, and how did that happen? We’d like to know. What’s the reason? This is what we’ve been informed. That’s what Beijing told us. Whether it was a phone call or anything else, It came from our superiors. Whatever they tell us, we have to follow it, okay? Then when and how? To stop Li Ching-yu from going to Beijing, the Chinese government cancelled her permit so that she couldn’t get on the flight. It was only on the 69th day that they officially announced they had arrested Li Ming-che. The spokesman at the Taiwan Affairs Office,
An Fengshan, stated on the 26th
( China Central Television )
( Evening News Network Broadcast ) that the national security unit had revealed that a Taiwanese citizen, Li Ming-che, was suspected of subverting state power and with the permission of the prosecution office had recently been legally arrested by the security department of Hunan province. According to the Cross-strait
mutual legal assistance agreement,
(Kao Jung-chih, Then CEO of Judicial Reform Foundation) there’s one specific regulation which states
(Kao Jung-chih, Then CEO of Judicial Reform Foundation) the fundamental requirement we have in a situation when someone goes missing or is arrested by them, which is that they have to notify us at the very least. Take the Li Ming-che case for example. First, they failed to notify us. Second, according to the rules of their own Chinese Criminal Procedure Law, they had to give notification within 37 days. This is stated by law. 37 days is way too long for us. For the Taiwanese. someone can’t go missing for 37 days before you start saying, “Okay, I’m officially arresting you.” That’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable in Taiwan. Unimaginable. ( Intermediate Court of Yueyang City, China )
( September 11th, 2017 ) On September 11th, 2017, the Intermediate People’s Court of Yueyang in Hunan province put on a refined court play. There was a defendant, a judge, a prosecutor as well as an attorney. The prosecutor accused Li of using the internet in Taiwan to attack the communist party of China on Weibo and the present Chinese political system with the intention of subverting state power. So on November 28th, 2017, Li Ming-che was sentenced for 5 years and deprived of his political rights for 2 years. Many people may think it was Li who got himself caught by entering China. But for him, the so-called crime was committed in Taiwan. So he went to China and then got arrested, instead of going to China and writing those things while he was there. Regarding the location of the crime, there’s room for debate. The location of his crime was Taiwan. So according to this logic, if any of us criticizes China in Taiwan, we can then be arrested on entering China. Therefore, they are hoping we either do self-censorship and do not criticize China or desist from showing a strong opinion. That is one way dealing with it. The other way is that if you are expressing a strong opinion, you had better not visit China at all. If you go to China, they will arrest you. How many periods of 5 years are in one life? How many decades are there? Try to imagine what you will be like in 10 years. Whether it is your personal life or the development of your career, when you think in terms of decades, you’d know what to do now. More than ten years ago,
( Hong Kong Film, “Ten Years” ) they came here to learn Cantonese.
( Hong Kong Film, “Ten Years” ) I just want to have a long term job
( Hong Kong Film, “Ten Years” ) with my boss. In the last ten years, what we’ve learned most about is conspiracy, and what we’ve lost most is trust. We started the project “Ten Years”
(Andrew Choi, Producer of “Ten Years”) at the beginning of 2014.
( Andrew Choi, Producer of “Ten Years” ) That’s more than 3 years ago. At the time we already noticed that Hong Kong was starting to go through some changes both politically and socially. We felt that China’s influence on Hong Kong was becoming more obvious. If it continues like this, what will Hong Kong turn into in the future? I want to clarify something here. Please don’t be mistaken that just because I am the chairman I am seeking the limelight
( Derek Yee Tung Sing, Chairman )
( 35th Hong Kong Film Awards ) in presenting this award.
( Derek Yee Tung Sing, Chairman )
( 35th Hong Kong Film Awards ) In fact, we couldn’t find anyone else to present it, you know that? I guess you all understand why. So I thought it was better not to make it difficult for anybody. It wouldn’t do anybody any good to present this, right? If it turns out to be that film, I’m afraid that you would stutter, “Ten, ten, ten…” and wouldn’t be able to finish it. I asked Sean Lau to do it. I said, actually you would get away with it. You’re the host. You’re neutral. I’d get away with it? How could I be neutral? I’m a male. You can’t even see that? So I don’t want to make it difficult for anyone. If there’s anyone who wants to join me up here, that’s okay too. See, anybody? Nobody. One thing I need to mention is that during the production of this award ceremony, there was a young writer on the team. He asked me privately whether we should put “Ten Years” in the script this year? I said to him, “Young man, President Roosevelt once said, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This year’s best film award goes to “Ten Years”. The 2016 Hong Kong Film Awards gave Best Film to “Ten Years” This politically incorrect film, “Ten Years”, was filmed by five young directors. Its themes touch on conflict between China and Hong Kong, and because it revolves around Hong Kong independence, it is doomed to be banned in China . Their instruction is the more chaotic, the better.
( Hong Kong Film, “Ten Years” ) The more scared the Hong Kongers are, the better.
( Hong Kong Film, “Ten Years” ) The bullet won’t work. It doesn’t frighten the citizens. They don’t care about your Chinese Security Laws. Zhao Wei’s new film “No Other Love” features the Taiwanese actor, Leon Dai. Recently Dai was accused by the Communist Youth League of China of being an Taiwanese independence activist. The film is banned, the director is blacklisted and of course the actor is blacklisted 3 months after “Ten Years” received the award, Leon Dai, who is also a director and concerned about Taiwanese democracy and social development, was reported as supporting Taiwanese independence. So the director and investors of the Chinese film he features in, “No Other Love”, asked him to announce publicly that he was not a Taiwanese independence activist. However, on the eve of the 18th Taipei Film Festival award ceremony, Leon Dai was still replaced. Let’s make dreams together tonight at the Taipei Film Awards. The Taipei Film Awards is 18 years old now.
( Taipei Film Awards Ceremony, July 16th, 2016 ) When we see a kid all grown up,
( Taipei Film Awards Ceremony, July 16th, 2016 ) we usually exclaim, “Wow, how have you grown up so quickly?” It feels like the growing… The day before the award ceremony in this free and democratic country, someone was made to apologize and was replaced. For filmmakers, this situation should be unacceptable. At the award ceremony, I thought many people would show their support for Leon Dai. With regard to the Leon Dai incident, it has caused some awkwardness in the film industry.
( From Formosa News ) So I’d like to ask,
( From Formosa News ) if you are going on a publicity tour of China… Sorry we can’t answer that question. Regarding the Leon Dai incident will it change your publicity… We have to hurry to the next interview. Sorry. Thank you. The Press Award goes to “The Taste of Apple”. Congratulations to “The Taste of Apple” for winning the Press Award. On the day of the award ceremony, it was barely ten meters from my seat to the stage, but it felt much longer. The image came to mind of that 16 year old girl who held the national flag and was forced to apologize… I am sorry. I should have done this earlier. … and of an out-of-date, overly complacent celebrity. It was probably fate, haha. Luckily I am in Taiwan. If I were on the mainland today, I would be made to commit suicide, to disappear. Why? Because the film “The Taste of Apple” deals with issues that can’t be discussed across the Strait. The independence of Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, the Falun Gong, and the massacre at the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest. All of them. I’d like to thank the many forerunners of Taiwanese democracy, who contributed their lives and devoted their youth so that in Taiwan today freedom is as natural as breathing. Therefore, we aren’t forced to say that China can’t afford to miss even one piece or to clarify that we are not Taiwanese independence activists. After I made the speech, many friends told me, “Kevin, that was well said.” Actually 5 years ago, somebody said it even better. He made this ridiculous situation into a short film. This is him. The person who gave me the award, Cheng Yu-chieh. “Unwritten Rules”
Written and directed by by Cheng Yu-chieh Like I haven’t had enough trouble today. Who found this location? Yes. The national emblem can be avoided in the composition. That’s the KMT party’s emblem. It’s not the party emblem but the flag that needs to be avoided. That is the national flag. You’ve never done military service? Okay, enough, whatever about the emblem. If we can’t even tell that, how do we expect them to. We have to avoid it in any case, otherwise we won’t be able to sell to that market. Once when I was
( Cheng Yu-chieh, Film Director ) preparing to write a script,
( Cheng Yu-chieh, Film Director ) I received a letter from the production studios. It said that the production was planned to go into the Chinese market. There are some rules. When I read one of them I was like… I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It said that… This is what it said. You can curse, yes, but you can’t put the curse in the subtitles. You can’t mention the R.O.C. however, and you can’t film our national flag. I was going like, when did the name of our country and our flag become worse than a curse? Short Film “Unwritten Rules” Director, I’ve got the crowbars. So can I be considered a real filmmaker now? Thank you. Thank you for saving us. No. Thank you for saving the Taiwanese movie industry. Let’s make a film. Come on. One, two, three. It’s coming down. Producer. ( Three People’s Principles Unify China ) While I was making “Unwritten Rules”, I was quite sad actually. It was quite depressing to make it.
( Cheng Yu-chieh, Film Director ) But then I began to think that,
( Cheng Yu-chieh, Film Director ) with such a depressing subject, I didn’t want to film it in such a heavy tone. I wanted to do it in a more absurd way. I was thinking, where in the whole world, when filming in your own country, could you not even dare film your own national flag? What country on earth would treat their own country’s name as taboo? This is what’s happening in our own country, and we are used to it by now. This is our future.
( TV series “Days We Stared at the Sun II” ) This is what we’ve got now.
( TV series “Days We Stared at the Sun II” ) Cheng Yu-chieh is an outstanding Taiwanese director. His film and TV work is frequently recognized with domestic and international awards. In 2017, at the invitation of Public Television Service, he shot the sequel to his well-received mini-TV series of 7 years previous, “Days We Stared at the Sun”. Due to the popularity of the first series, an internet website with Chinese investment, iQIYI Taiwan, acquired the rights to screen it on their website. However,
( TV series “Days We Stared at the Sun II” ) it was shelved after the first episode.
( TV series “Days We Stared at the Sun II” ) You guys should stop protesting against that Service Trade Agreement. This is the reality. So you’re not joining those student movements, right? You’re all being used by the politicians. We’re not being used by anybody. We’re fighting for this ourselves. The sequel was only screened in Taiwan, but the red line was still drawn. I think the significance of this was quite different. This is Taiwan here. Yes. Our law protects freedom of speech and creative freedom. For me, freedom means being free of fear. Yes. When this red line was drawn, it looks that it’s going to affect people who live and work as artists in Taiwan, even if their work will only get screened in Taiwan. For artists like us, we have to think as if we were living in China. We need to do self-censorship. Let me warn you, our son is going to high school.
( Hong Kong Film, “Ten Years” ) Stop speaking Cantonese with him.
( Hong Kong Film, “Ten Years” ) Is it illegal to speak Cantonese now? Ouyang said to me, the reason why Hong Kong didn’t get democracy was because nobody had died for it. Self-immolation only happens when there’s no other solution. Is it illegal now to sell eggs? Selling eggs is fine. It’s the word “local” that violates the rules. We still believe there’s hope for Hong Kong.
( Andrew Choi, Producer of “Ten Years” ) If there wasn’t any hope, we wouldn’t have made this film. Hope resides in the fact that even though we need to know we’re facing a very tough situation, we still need to just hold onto our values and our beliefs. I believe that an artist
( Cheng Yu-chieh, Film Director ) usually starts from a belief
( Cheng Yu-chieh, Film Director ) that he then develops into his artwork. So I hope that during the creative process, I wouldn’t change it out of fear. Because once you give in, once you let fear decide your future, you will be led by it after that. What’s up with you now? You don’t trust me anymore? This is what I’ve risked my life for. We will never let them sell out our future. Daddy. Who ever said we couldn’t change the world? What keeps me holding on is not hatred. It’s hope. “Ten Years” “Never too late” One message that “Ten Years” reveals at the end is quite significant, I think. That is, it’s “never too late”. Save and defend
( Side Gate of Legislative Yuan on Jinan Road )
( March 18th, 2014 ) the right to live.
( Side Gate of Legislative Yuan on Jinan Road )
( March 18th, 2014 ) Humans are controlled because of fear. What can overcome fear? One way is desperation. The other way is hope. Hurry up. Say no to the Service Trade Agreement. Guys, we have successfully occupied the parliament. Everybody, this way. Everybody, this way. The parliament belongs to the people.
( Parliament of Legislative Yuan )
( March 18th, 2014 ) You have to know that by 2013,
( Wu Rwei-ren, Associate Research Fellow )
( ITH, Academia Sinica ) all the major western discourses
( Wu Rwei-ren, Associate Research Fellow )
( ITH, Academia Sinica ) believed it was the end of Taiwan. The Mandarin translation of “The Revenge of Geography” has just come out in Taiwan. It deals with geopolitics. The author is a senior journalist, Robert Kaplan. In the book he wrote that, basically, judging by the situation, Ma Ying-jeou was about to… Taiwan would inevitably be annexed by China. Therefore, it was time in East-Asia geopolitics for the China-Taiwan problem to be resolved. That book was in 2013. And at the end of 2013, a professor in politics from Chicago University, John Mearsheimer,. visited Academia Sinica. He is an expert in the theory of offensive realism in international politics. He gave a speech right here in this building. The topic of his speech… The title of his speech was “Say Goodbye to Taiwan”. Say Goodbye to Taiwan. What he was saying was that the rise of China was set in motion. America could no longer block or suppress China. Taiwan couldn’t escape Chinese control. Therefore, it proposed giving up Taiwan. This “giving up Taiwan” theory heralded significant new theoretical ground. That was December, 2013. 3 months later, the Sunflower Student Movement broke out. The movement didn’t just knock down the KMT and allow the Taiwanese local party to regain power, it even turned the tables on East-Asian geopolitics. For China suddenly encountered a huge setback on the annexation of Taiwan. All of a sudden, because the Taiwanese stood up and occupied the Legislative Yuan, it formed an effect that we could call a quasi-referendum, an effect that seemed like a referendum. In English parlance, we could say, the village had spoken. Please tell your friends it’s okay if they can’t make it today,
( Anti-Hong Kong National Education Campaign )
( September 7th, 2012 ) they can still join us tomorrow or the day after. Okay, let’s pass it to the next one. First of all, can you give the biggest round of applause to the more than ten people on hunger strike so that Leung Chun-ying can hear us up there. I know that tonight there are many, many people,
( Joshua Huang, Then Convenor of Scholarism ) over ten thousand, who have surrounded the whole of Citizen’s square, while government headquarters lies at the other end of the road. We’d like to go over and give support to the people on hunger strike. We understand that to ask you to occupy the square tonight might cost you a lot. But the members of Scholarism, including me and Yin Xin-yi beside me, we are only 15 years old and in fifth and fourth grade of high school, as well as the two members on my left, who have just finished their hunger strikes, all of us will stay here with you till the last moment. Stay up all night. (Stay up all night.) Stay up all night. (Stay up all night.) Stay up all night. (Stay up all night.) Even 15-year old students like us are willing to pay whatever price tonight to occupy and keep watch here. Can you stay with us and show support to the people on hunger strike? Yes. It’s clear now that Leung Chun-ying is a coward who sidesteps public opinion and won’t face us. He only meets journalists but won’t even see them himself, getting Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to receive them instead. We, the Scholarism, implore you to keep watch and occupy tonight. Let’s see how Leung can go to work tomorrow. Okay. Let’s see how Leung can go to work tomorrow. This is the convenor of Hong Kong Scholarism, 16 year-old Joshua Huang. On September 26, 2014
( The Umbrella Revolution, Hong Kong ) after leading the reading of the Statement of Boycotting Classes,
( The Umbrella Revolution, Hong Kong )
( Sep 26th – Dec 15th, 2014 ) he implored people right after that to take back Citizen’s Square. At 81 days long, and with 1.2 million participants involved, the largest civil disobedience movement ever in Hong Kong history, the Umbrella Revolution, formally began. Tear gas. There’s more, there’s more, everybody move back. Everybody move back. When I arrived, it was probably the afternoon of October 9th.
( Kou Yanding, Writer, Chinese NGO Worker ) This is the first time I’ve revisited the place
( Kou Yanding, Writer, Chinese NGO Worker ) since the incident 2 years ago. Hong Kong has long been a particularly orderly and busy place. But on October 9th, there wasn’t a single car. In the whole area, from this end to that end, the traffic was paralyzed. There were various kinds of tents full of goods. Wherever there was a stage, there would be speeches or protests. Just as I wrote in my book, in the evening I saw Alex Chow, Lester Shum, Joshua Huang, Benny Dai and another legislator show up at that place. They set up a stage speaking things I didn’t understand. They spoke Cantonese over there. At the time, that sentence came to mind, I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend your right to say it to the death. Even though I couldn’t even understand their language, at the time I felt that it was like a dream. I’d never expected to have such a dream. I didn’t realize that once I left, the dream of my life would start. I suddenly fell into another world. I was like the child in Alice in Wonderland. It was like falling into a hole, and everything has changed ever since. That experience was particularly bizarre. When that little girl tumbled in, she was just acting like herself. But when I was pushed into this situation, this so-called subversion of the nation, such a monstrous crime, my once natural and easy life suddenly revolved around “Occupying Central”, four Departments handling my case, and Hong Kong and Taiwan independence. I was accused of subverting the nation, such a big crime that it’s hard to imagine. Did you want to die at the time?
( Kou Yanding, Writer, Chinese NGO Worker ) I couldn’t, even if I’d wanted to.
( Kou Yanding, Writer, Chinese NGO Worker ) I was sitting there on an iron armchair. In front of me stood two strong young guards. One stood there… The two of them were both 50 centimeters away. One was sitting here, and the two of them were… Even while I was sleeping there, the two of them were less than 50 centimeters away from my body. If I could have committed suicide at the time, that definitely would have been my first choice. At least I haven’t had to live with the outcome. Kou Yanding is a Chinese NGO worker. She came to Taiwan to join a workshop. On her way back, she stopped off in Hong Kong. There she observed the Occupying Central site for 2 days. Immediately on returning to China, she was detained. The person who interrogated her said that the lecturer at the Taiwanese workshop, Chien Hsi-chieh, was a Taiwanese independence activist. She interviewed Chan Kin-man, one of the three people who occupied Central. He is a Hong Kong independence activist. And that was it. Kou was detained for 128 days. She was only released on Valentine’s Day. At present she is still a prisoner. A prisoner of fear. I held a press conference in March 2013
( Chan Kin-man, Associate Professor )
( Department of Sociology, CUHK ) to declare the start of a movement,
( Chan Kin-man, Associate Professor )
( Department of Sociology, CUHK ) “Occupy Central with Love and Peace”. On that day, many journalists asked me, “Chan Kin-man, why not even a little smile?” “You look so hopeless.” I was in such a depressed mood. At the time, the questions that occurred to me were not only what would happen after this movement kicked off, not only to me and to Hong Kong society but also to my partners in China, would they be implicated by this movement? During this period of occupation, during this movement, there were three people who experienced great fear. But we didn’t talk about it. One or two friends encountered terrible experiences. At the beginning, we thought that the three of us might have terrible things happen to us. We didn’t. We only received mail threatening to kill my family or with a blade. Benny Dai received a call threatening to kill and rape his daughter. This kind of thing happened to us every day. But the treats never materialized. If they had happened to any of us, the impact might have been too big. But around us things kept happening, and they were all quite scary. Can you hear us sing? We sing from our suffering. We refuse all our lives to… On encountering fear, do you choose desperation or hope? In 2014, the Sunflower Student Movement and the Umbrella Revolution reversed the politics of Taiwan and Hong Kong. In 2016, following Taiwan’s third change of government, the New Power Party, which represents the sunflower generation, became the third largest party. In the Legislative Council of Hong Kong elections, Pan-democratic and local alliances scooped 19 of the 35 elected seats. That’s more than half, and it also gave them one-third veto power. However, wouldn’t the communists fight back? Councillor Leung, please return to your seat. I’m not done yet (the oath). Leung Chung-hang, losing his councilor’s position due to changing the oath and unsolemn declaration on November 15th, 2016. Of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of People’s Refucking of Chinee. Yau Wei-ching, losing her councilor’s position for changing the oath and unsolemn declaration on November 15th, 2016. I want true democracy. Revoke the People’s Congress’ 831 decision. Revoke the People’s Congress’ 831 decision. I want true democracy. Leung Kwok-hung, losing his councilor’s position due to changing the oath and unsolemn declaration on July 14th, 2017. I serve for the sustainable development of Hong Kong. Yiu Chung-yim, losing his councilor’s position due to changing the oath and unsolemn declaration on July 14th, 2017. Me, myself… Lau Siu-lai, losing her councilor’s position due to changing the oath and unsolemn declaration on July 14th, 2017. Hope lies with the people. Change starts with protest. Nathan Law, losing his councilor’s position due to changing the oath and unsolemn declaration on July 14th, 2017. According to the Basic Law (Article 79),
( Benny Dai, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, HKU ) there are seven situations
( Benny Dai, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, HKU ) clearly stating in what circumstances councillors may lose their position. It never says that if you don’t finish the oath declaration… which means that not finishing the oath doesn’t affect your position. Maybe you won’t be able to participate in meetings or you won’t be able to vote. This already exists in the rules of procedure of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. And that’s how things were done in the past. So we can question that since there’s already a law for this… Apparently Beijing didn’t think that was enough. To stop them going to meetings was not enough punishment for them. Under the Basic Law of “One Country, Two Systems”, nobody can supersede the People’s Congress under this legal framework and examine if their decisions are illegal. They are the sole decision makers. As the saying goes, the public’s view is as free-flowing as running water, it drifts and follows no rules. The congressmen elected by the citizens can be recalled by citizen voting, of course.
( Voting Day of the Recalling of MP Huang Kuo-chang )
( December 16th, 2017 ) However, the position of a councillor
( Voting Day of the Recalling of MP Huang Kuo-chang )
( December 16th, 2017 ) is decided by the National People’s Congress. Agree to recall. Agree to recall.
( Stability of Power Alliance ) Stand up bravely.
( Stability of Power Alliance ) Victory to the people. Victory to the people. Victory to the people. Victory. Victory to the people. Victory to the people. Victory. ( Huang Kuo-chang, Going for a Vote ) On that March 18th, the Sunflower Student Movement they were there on the 18th. The second floor… The lobby of the first floor. Taiwan, go go go.
( Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus )
( Press Conference Launch, June 12th, 2017 ) Hong Kong, go go go.
( Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus )
( Press Conference Launch, June 12th, 2017 ) Taiwan, go go go. Let’s look back at June 12th, 2017. The NPP Chairman Huang Kuo-chang started the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus, which was officially launched. In the future, this platform will assist the Hong Kong people in fighting for democracy and enhance exchanges between Taiwanese and Hong Kong youth. However, 8 days after this caucus, the proposal to recall Huang proposed by Stability of Power had passed the threshold. Within a month, Nathan Law and three other legislators were expelled from the Legislative Council. Agree, one vote. Not agree, one vote. I’d like to thank everyone who came out
( Recalling Huang Kuo-chang, Failed to Pass )
( December 16th, 2017 ) to vote for ‘not agree’.
( Recalling Huang Kuo-chang, Failed to Pass )
( December 16th, 2017 ) Thank you for your persistence and belief in reformation. I’d also like to thank everyone who came out to vote on my recall. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to reflect on my deficiencies so that I stay under your supervision. Thank you again. They are the same legislators elected by the citizens, but the difference between Taiwan and Hong Kong highlights democracy’s most precious value, people rule. Be fearless. – Be fearless. Civil disobedience. -Civil disobedience. Be fearless. – Be fearless. Take back Citizen’s Square. -Take back Citizen’s Square. Besides removing 6 legislators, the Chinese-tamed Hong Kong government didn’t let the prominent members of the Umbrella Revolution get away easily. On August 15th, 2015, the Eastern Law Courts of Hong Kong announced their verdict to sentence Huang and his members to 80 to 120 hours of community service. However, after their service was done, the Department of Justice appealed to the High Court. On August 17th, 2017, the High Court sentenced Huang and his fellow members to imprisonment for 6 to 8 months. They were to be imprisoned straight away. Currently Hong Kong is in its post-Umbrella Movement stage, political authoritarianism. You can even say that
( Wu Rwei-ren, Associate Research Fellow )
( ITH, Academia Sinica ) the current situation in Hong Kong
( Wu Rwei-ren, Associate Research Fellow )
( ITH, Academia Sinica ) is similar to the latter stages of Taiwan’s martial law period, that type of situation. That is, it’s partially under martial law. Many aspects of political freedom have been restrained. Whether it’s self-determination or independence or democracy, whether it’s to propagate or to organize or to participate in political movements, all are restricted. And it’s not only that. They have also noticed the bad connections between Hong Kong and outside world need to be cut off. There can’t be any connection at all. Therefore, you can see that in the obvious example of the deputy chairperson of a British opposition party concerned with the Hong Kong caucus. Last year when he planned on visiting Hong Kong, his visa application was declined. This is quite rare. Usually when British people want to enter… Or should I say, westerners want to visit Hong Kong, especially the British, they are rarely declined. Moreover, besides me and Wu Jieh-min, some Taiwanese scholars since last summer, last summer, since the second half of last year, some Taiwanese scholars have been denied visas one after the other and haven’t been able to visit Hong Kong at all. The scholars I’m referring to here are the ones with a stronger democratic consciousness and who have been participating in civil movements for a long time. At the moment, this is not a democratic autonomy. It’s actually a non-democratic autonomy.
( Benny Dai, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, HKU ) We have a certain level of autonomous rights
( Benny Dai, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, HKU ) but it’s not democratic. And it’s not a high level autonomy. In fact, it is like what I once wrote in an article, “autonomy in a bird cage”. We are like a bird stuck in a cage. It might be a big cage, but it’s still a cage and we’re still stuck inside it. Even if it feels like we’re under huge pressure
( Nathan Law prior to Going to Jail ) in this heart-wrenching time,
( Nathan Law, before going to jail ) don’t waste time being sentimental. Let’s be positive. During my time in prison, where I won’t be free, I hope you can exert your influence, maximize it by a million times and put it into practice. I’m hoping everybody can do what they can
( Alex Chow prior to Going to Jail ) to determine their own minds,
( Alex Chow prior to Going to Jail ) to determine their own lives and to determine the future of our city. Let’s stay together, keep our heads up, keep striding along this path, and keep nourishing and developing our democratic movement to change the future of Hong Kong. I hope that when I get out in six months,
( Joshua Huang prior to Going to Jail ) you will stay at the forefront
( Joshua Huang prior to Going to Jail ) of keeping Hong Kong together with us. We’re going to prison. I hope this political imprisonment won’t be in vain, and this political sentence will not be a sacrifice in vain. I believe that even though I’m about to lose my freedom, my imprisonment will still have significance. I’m hoping you can keep Hong Kong together. Don’t give up. We’re not giving up so why should you? See you in 6 months. Nathan Law, Alex Chow and Joshua Huang were the first group of political criminals in Hong Kong. They were 24, 27 and 21 years old. If we think this through, the concept of being covers everything. Isn’t that right?
(Experimental Philosophy Course in Senior High School) For it’s the biggest, biggest concept.
(Experimental Philosophy Course in Senior High School) Do the things you fabricate exist? They do. They exist conceptually. What’s your favorite cartoon? Doraemon. What? Doraemon? ( Doraemon From TVB Hong Kong) That’s for you rebelling against me. Give back my money.
(Protest on the Decreasing Number of Chinese Tourists)
( September 12th, 2016 ) Go all out for the economy.
(Protest on the Decreasing Number of Chinese Tourists)
( September 12th, 2016 ) It’s not Taiwan that’s stopping them. It’s China that set the restrictons. So do you think that the Taiwanese government has done something wrong to cause China to act this way? I only have one phrase for this, the 1992 consensus. It’s obviously about the 1992 consensus. It’s has become the tumour in the blood vessel that is the Strait relationship. A free-flowing piece of fat. And apparently this piece of fat is stuck in the neural system of Tsai Ing-wen’s government. Therefore it’s like the cross-strait situation is having a stroke. Raise your hand if you’ve bullied anyone at school.
( Shen Ching-kai, Associate Professor )
( Department of Philosophy, Fu Jen Catholic University ) Raise your hand if you have been bullied.
( Shen Ching-kai, Associate Professor )
( Department of Philosophy, Fu Jen Catholic University ) That’s very good of you. Okay, there must be a role that suits you guys. Raise your hand if you’ve seen anyone being bullied. You’ve been watching. Tell me now, whose fault is it? Surely anybody would think it’s you… … that is right, for sure. So we have to stand up today and tell the government
(Protest on the Decreasing Number of Chinese Tourists)
( September 12th, 2016 ) that the situation is critical,
(Protest on the Decreasing Number of Chinese Tourists)
( September 12th, 2016 ) that they have to pay attention to this critical situation so that we can survive. Today we’re not making any political appeals. We just need to survive. I remember when I was in college, I had classmates from Hong Kong. Hong Kongers were regarded as high-class Chinese.
( Shi Zhengfeng, Professor )
( Department of Indigenous Affairs and Development, NDHU ) Under British rule,
( Shi Zhengfeng, Professor )
( Department of Indigenous Affairs and Development, NDHU ) they said their bureaucratic system was very good, as well as everything else. They thought they were doing well economically so they didn’t have to worry about politics. Now they know all about it. Since the communists arrived, they know about it now. Do you remember my Hong Kong friend Wu Zi-ming? He once could see. Born in China, he came to Hong Kong during elementary school. In the 1990s, many people went to invest in China and so did he. In the end, his company closed down, and he became blind. At the time, a friend and I, a Chinese friend, started a hardware factory as partners. The business was going well, but after about 3 years he saw that the business was right on track, and so he swallowed me up. That’s the communists.
( Wu Zi-ming, Hong Kong Citizen ) There’s nothing you can do. That is how it’s done in Mainland China. It’s the policy of raising pigs. When the pig has grown fat, you kill it. Not only did Hong Kong people have their companies and money stolen, it happened to many Taiwanese people too. In 2015, China started aggressively inspecting the taxes of Taiwanese enterprises in China. In late 2017 in Kunshan, where many Taiwanese businesses were stationed, China introduced a restriction order on pollution in order to free up space for themselves. Taiwanese businessmen couldn’t help but leave. Mr. Huang, who worked in the currency exchange black market for more than 20 years in China, thinks this kind of situation is quite common. Here we are. Do you know what?
( Black-market Exchange Dealer versus Taiwanese Businessman ) I’ll do this for you till the new year.
( Black-market Exchange Dealer versus Taiwanese Businessman ) You can go find a new dealer. No, I’ve been dealing with you since… No, let me explain. Because in China… I’m getting more frightened now. I don’t know when will I… If you wire in a large amount and it gets seized, I wouldn’t know how to explain it to you. But I have been wiring money through you. I’m telling you, I’m under real pressure. Come on, we’re like… This is like… We go way back, a long time. These Taiwanese businessmen went in as individuals during the 1990s in the pursuit of fortunes
as the Chinese economy started to expand. This was because at that stage, China needed Taiwanese capital and industrial technique. It was quite low end, but it suited China at the time. So it is useful. And they also benefited from it. So for them… All these Taiwanese businessmen
entered China as individuals instead of being guided by national policy. They were like… In fact at the time, Lee Teng-hui had an alternative policy. He was hoping to transfer this Taiwanese capital to South East Asia. That’s why there was a Southbound Policy in the 90’s, the “Grow Slowly, Be Patient” policy. That was the state policy. But the state policy didn’t work. Instead, everyone sneaked in there. Honestly speaking, in the past the amount of people we served compared to now,
( Mr. Huang, Blackmarket Exchange Dealer ) less than twenty percent have survived . The ones who did business there in the past, the amount of those who were purchasing there has significantly decreased. Why is that? Because that’s business. When there’s no business, they’re gone. Why is there no business? No profits. No margins. In 20 years, less than twenty percent of the small to medium sized enterprises remain. When we were there in the early days, I would often say that I’d bump into Taiwanese every day I went out. Nowadays, in the business I work in, there’s probably less than twenty percent left. Most of them have returned home because the advantage has gone. Any market that China initially gives shade to can disappear at any time. In Taiwan, the products that benefited from policies won’t last long either. Aquaculture serves as the best example. Weigh it exactly or otherwise we’ll lose money. You have to weigh it exactly. If it’s out by one kilo, the difference will be NT$50. For the small ones, they have to be heavy enough. Don’t catch them if they’re not heavy enough. That one will be NT$180 per kilo. Okay, we’ll let you sell it for $300. Fucking hell. We’ve got five, six farms but are losing 7, 8, almost 10 million. Xi Jinping is banning extravagance.
( Grouper Breeder, Jiadong, Pingtung ) He is
( Grouper Breeder, Jiadong, Pingtung ) going against it. They won’t import them without lots of restrictions. There’s nothing we can do about it. Throw me a big one. I’ll show it to them. How big? Around a kilo is fine. Okay, that one is bigger. That one is three kilos. He is so annoying. When Hong Kongers eat groupers, they don’t eat the three kilo ones. Yes, in Hong Kong, they don’t go for the three kilo ones. But, maybe after seeing this film, they might go for the three kilo ones. Let me tell you, they are all female. All female. Actually back then I was thinking we couldn’t rely on the Chinese market
( Chen Chi-hung, Leader )
( Pingtung Jiadong’s Eighth Grouper Breeding Program ) for our live fish business.
( Chen Chi-hung, Leader )
( Pingtung Jiadong’s Eighth Grouper Breeding Program ) So when I came back,I began thinking that I needed to start some teamwork. I had to gradually promote our branding in the Taiwanese market. We had to start from scratch, slowly making contacts within this type of distribution. If you waited till the whole market collapsed, it would be too late to look for a new one then. But even I could see it happening. It collapsed really fast. It collapsed just as we expected. From 250, 260 dollars per kilo, down to 200 in no time, and then to 180, 160 and 150. It kept doing down like no one could stop it. Today’s price might go up 10 dollars tomorrow or it might go down 10 too. The price of groupers swings a lot. It’s just like that. That’s why we started to think about how to develop our distribution network. We had to open up other possibilities. When you come up with a new product and you like it very much, it’s not certain that it will be accepted by customers. Where is the market? If you’re not sure, you have to develop it. If customers don’t know something, we have to educate them. If they don’t know how to enjoy a grouper, then we teach them how to enjoy one. Hi, please have a look. It’s all fresh fish. Come and have a look. Queensland groupers, green grouper, cobia and whiteleg shrimp.
( Taipei Hope Square ) Please have a look.
( Taipei Hope Square ) All kinds of delicious seafood, you can find here. The freshest and most delicious. Queensland groupers and whiteleg shrimp, all farmed by ourselves. Delicious. We were still farming them this morning. and came here right afterwards. We came all the way from Pingtung. By car? By High Speed Rail. Yes, by High Speed Rail this time. So we’re not making any profit, this is just for promotion. They all weigh the same. You can pick whatever one you like. Pick one for me so I can blame you if it doesn’t taste good. Okay, pick one for her. Whatever you pick will be good anyway because of our quality control Just pick for me. I trust you. The economic relationship between China and Taiwan has entered a new phase. During the last phase, China tried to use a free trade approach, the “unification by trade” method. I reckon that they have given up on that. At the moment they’ve totally adopted a political method interfering economical activity with political power. Through this they are hoping to create economic incentives. Economic incentives, so that the Taiwanese will get closer to China. The so-called economic unification. But I don’t think it will work. Maybe it will have some short-term or partial effect. What can you do? Nothing. If they’ve got to go there, they’ve got to go. But in the end, they might have to suffer. What I am saying now is all rational analysis. So what can Taiwan do? Under these circumstances, honestly, the first thing is we should try to lower our economic dependence on China. The only solution is to try upgrade ourselves economically. There’s no other way except to upgrade ourselves. If the traditional manufacturing industry stays in Taiwan, will they really be able to upgrade and transform? I reckon that in the future efficiency is the key to manufacturing for Taiwan. That’s the key to winning.
( Chen Jun-yan, General Manager )
( Sheh Fung Screws Company ) Take a look at mainland China.
( Chen Jun-yan, General Manager )
( Sheh Fung Screws Company ) Back then everybody moved there because of the cheap labor. When that labor became pricy, everybody moved to a third country or returned to Taiwan because the wages in Taiwan became relatively low. Sometimes that’s what it seemed like. But that means you have to become a nomad. You have to go with the flow. But our company, Sheh Fung, we’ve been here for more than 40 years. Our family members don’t want to leave Taiwan. So I have to always think, if we don’t want to leave Taiwan, where should we invest? Right? We should only invest in a place where we can upgrade our management. We should find something to stay here with, an essential tool or weapon, rather than just manufacturing or cheap labor. All those things can disappear one day. Sheh Fung Screws Company has stuck to Taiwan for 40 years by growing out of the cost myth and building their competitiveness. In a nation that sticks to democratic values, they have created the utmost price. It has been said that some emphasize on price while others focus on value. But democratic values are the backbone to all prices. Or that those values serve as the base. So you can’t compare the two of them. It’s like the value of family. But then one question emerges. “Can we feed ourselves with democracy?” Usually whoever says that…
( Shen Ching-kai, Associate Professor )
( Department of Philosophy, Fu Jen Catholic University ) You have to see who’s talking. The person saying this might be a person with an autocratic mind. “We can’t feed ourselves with democracy.” When somebody says this, it might be from the oppressor’s point of view, not from the oppressed point of view. When one is oppressed, democracy is the perfect system to protect him. In terms of the East-Asian geopolitics, Taiwan’s democratic development still has a very rugged and bumpy road ahead for there’s a extremely evil neighbor right beside us. Suppression will come from everywhere and will never stop. During the 2016 International Conference on History Education for Peace in East Asia, some Taiwanese teenagers experienced just that. On the very first day,
( Liao He-an, Yang Ya-ting )
( 2016 International Conference on History Education for Peace in East Asia ) right after we got off the plane,
( Liao He-an, Yang Ya-ting )
( 2016 International Conference on History Education for Peace in East Asia ) we were already discussing whether we should leave or not. Yes. We hadn’t even made any… None of us
( Hsu Ren-shuo )
( Doctorate Student at Hokkaido University, Japan ) had even said anything
( Hsu Ren-shuo )
( Doctorate Student at Hokkaido University, Japan ) before being labelled as anti-Chinese. After that, they came up with some conditions. They insisted that there should be some conditions for this conference. The first one was that a Taiwan-centered historical point-of-view wasn’t allowed. I didn’t expect that.
( Liao He-an, Yang Ya-ting )
( 2016 International Conference on History Education for Peace in East Asia ) I didn’t think they could be so explicit and so straightforward about what we couldn’t say and what we couldn’t discuss. If we mentioned those things, we’d have to leave. Our goal was to let everyone know our thoughts. If we hadn’t fought for the team leader positions, it would’ve been like we had never come here. We’d have become invisible among hundreds of Chinese, Korean and Japanese people. So I think that there was a mutual understanding that we had to become team leaders so that we’d have the chance to speak. My name is Liao He-an.
( Liao He-an, Team Leader )
( Taipei First Girls’ High School ) I would like to represent my Taiwanese friends today
( Liao He-an, Team Leader )
( Taipei First Girls’ High School ) and share our experience of the last few days and also our thoughts after the discussion. We are all against war.
( Wu Zhi-ru, Team Leader )
( National Experimental High School ) The main reason war happens
( Wu Zhi-ru, Team Leader )
( National Experimental High School ) is two or more different regions have conflicts in chasing their own benefits. War happens now but we always look forward that the world can be peaceful in the future. History. When talking about history, we can divide it into two aspects. One is personal, and the other is national. The personal aspect is that for each single historical event, everyone has his own opinion. Everybody thinks freely, which means free understanding. And the national aspect is like the school textbooks every government issues. They set the framework and tell you what you should know. It’s like… Let me do it.
( Chu Chen, Team Leader )
( Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School ) It’s like when we look at history,
( Chu Chen, Team Leader )
( Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School ) we should do it from two different levels. One is from a national one, the other is from a personal one. At a national level, because it has the power to set the tone for textbooks. Because it has immense power, it shouldn’t contain too much personal explanation, otherwise history will lose its objectivity. Of the seven senior high school students from all over Taiwan three got team leader positions. They showed young pupils from China, Japan and Korea what Taiwan is like. Dear Mother, please don’t worry. Forgive me, I cannot leave because I must fight those unforgivable ones. It was a bit emotional for me at the time.
( Chen Yi-lung )
( History Teacher, Taichung Municipal First Senior High School ) During the whole conference,
( Chen Yi-lung )
( History Teacher, Taichung Municipal First Senior High School ) I felt that the Chinese team played lots of petty tricks. So I had to keep making sure that the Taiwan team could remain visible at such an international occasion. I found this really hard, as for me, I’m just a high school teacher. I’d never expected to come across this type of thing at an international occasion. At the time I was hoping to anticipate the Anti-Black Box Curriculum teachers. That is, as a Taiwanese teacher, as a Taiwanese high school teacher, I was able to converse with international NGOs. So through this opportunity we could show the world the situation in Taiwan. Today is the day for the brave Taiwanese. All revolutions and reformations in history are like this. At the start, everything seems very pessimistic, but all of a sudden, reformation and revolution break out. One of the key reasons is that there has always been a significant minority that never gives up. They keep appealing, organizing, training and making discourse. As long as this exists, one day it will make an impact. China is powerful, but it also has its flaws, both internally and externally. Comparatively, Taiwan is weaker. But Taiwan has its strength. And it’s very strong . So we don’t need to put ourselves down. However we just need to figure out the conditions of the outside world and find a point where we can apply ourselves, and to keep doing it with patience
( Wu Rwei-ren, Associate Research Fellow )
( ITH, Academia Sinica ) and perseverance.
( Wu Rwei-ren, Associate Research Fellow )
( ITH, Academia Sinica ) One day the minority will become the majority. That’s all. I think history keeps proving this repeatedly. Now we’ve got to a point where I’d like to use a metaphor. It’s about Taiwan’s democracy. We praise Taiwan’s democracy all the time, but in fact Taiwan’s democracy is still in its very early stages. Let me put it this way. It is the precious result of historical developments over time. It’s the outcome of all the people’s effort. But it’s still very far away from real maturation. So at this current stage, we have to strengthen the quality of our democratic deliberation. We have to mend and revise all the various defects in our democratic system. To be frank, our democracy needs to grow up. We can’t just stay at a naive stage of passionately shouting slogans. We have to move on to a mature civil phase. For the weak, knowledge and morality are the best weapons to fight against power. Facing China’s omnipresent oppression, the Taiwanese people are now more convinced that only by planting the value of freedom deep within education, can we gain a real democratic defense mechanism and a freedom that can then last forever and be as natural as breathing. (Kou Yanding, Chinese NGO Worker, in Taiwan) Now you might ask could this film serve as a reference for the communists to collect dissenters. Honestly, I can’t guarantee you it won’t. But one thing that I can be absolutely certain is that Michael Michalko’s fictional experiment of the five monkeys and the bananas already finds its answer in real life. This brain, why does it stink? Yuck, these taste awful. Let’s add some dahongpao pepper. Or maybe some spring onion? Some chilli would do, too.

3 thoughts on “【Self-Censorship】 how China limits freedom of expression \English Subtitle

  • Like Kishore Mahbubani said: "Western countries now are all opened societies (with their pride freedom and liberty), but closed-minded; China is a "closed" society (with "dictatorship"), but open-minded." Ironic, isn't it?

  • This is a pretty good piece However Democracy also has its dark sides. To understand Governing systems of Power one would be better serve to have Deep understanding of it. Democracy is the Best out of all the available worst power systems today. Its does not automatically deliver. Its like out of the Rubbish of Monarcy, Dictatorship, Authoritarian and Democracy. All are dirty rubbish but Democracy is best among the worst. We see that in US its Democracy system is in Reality a Lie. You can vote but not change Govt policy as all Politicians are bought and sold controlled by the Rich and Corporations. But with enough pressure Govt will be forced to respond and give some crumbs or a bit more crumbs. Authoritarian however is even shittier they just lock you up or even just execute you. The best Democracy so far are in Scandinavian and Nordic countries but even that is under Corporate and Rich family control. It Still Remains a Cage but bigger whether Hong Kong or US or UK and any other states in existence. Only the size of that cage is different whether in Authoritarian or Democracy. But certainly under Democracy that cage is bigger.

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