lørdag 27. november 2021

Why wiping out Hong Kong's opposition may have cost China a whole generation in Taiwan

In just five years, Lin Fei-fan went from charging into Taiwan's legislature and occupying the building with hundreds of students to a senior job for the island's ruling party. But his story could have been very different if he lived in Hong Kong, where student activists once brought the financial hub to a standstill as they took to the streets to demand democracy and freedoms.

Lin says he could only watch from afar as nearly all pro-democracy figures in nearby Hong Kong, about 800 kilometers (500 miles) southwest of Taipei were arrested or fled overseas in the year since Beijing imposed a controversial national security law in response to mass pro-democracy protests in the city. "If I were in Hong Kong, I think I'll probably be in jail," said Lin, the 33-year-old deputy secretary-general of Taiwan's governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The recent events in Hong Kong have given Lin greater determination to defend Taiwan's sovereignty, he said -- and he is not alone.