The Chinese mainland has responded to persistent dissent in Hong Kong with equally persistent but disproportionate crackdown. Hong Kong’s democracy is now a shadow of what it used to be. Among new restrictions are strict rules on publications. However, booksellers are reacting to these new restrictions differently, with some defying them and others trying to make sense of the new laws. This article by Tiffany May is published by The New York Times. Here is an excerpt
When Hong Kong public libraries pulled books about dissent from circulation last month, Pong Yat Ming made an offer to his customers: They could read some of the same books, free, at his store.
Mr. Pong, 47, founded the shop, Book Punch, in 2020, after Beijing imposed a national security law in response to the antigovernment protests that rocked Hong Kong in 2019. The law broadly defined acts of subversion and secession against China, making much political speech potentially illegal, and it threatened severe punishment, including life imprisonment, for offenders.
Mr. Pong said he had opened Book Punch precisely because he did not want the city to fall silent under the pressure, and because he felt it was important to build a more empathetic, tightknit community as the law cast its shadow over Hong Kong.
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