Mainland Immigrants, Taiwanese, Ind. Media Join Hong Kongers’ Fight for Freedom: Media Executives

By Kitty Wang

Protests against Hong Kong’s anti-extradition bill have been growing to unprecedented levels. Many of the protesters are new immigrants from mainland China, which is drawing the attention of international media.

Libby Liu, President of Radio Free Asia told NTD, “These new immigrants, they’ve never lived in freedom before, so when they get there, it’s so shocking they’re willing to come out and endanger themselves to preserve it, and I think that that’s super-important for those of us that live in a free society.”

In recent years, under the pressure of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), freedom of the press has declined sharply in Hong Kong as local media have increasingly self-censored. Liu said that in covering the recent movement, though, some independent media have reported fearlessly, and have been welcomed by the public.

At the same time, the people of Taiwan have also given much support to the Hong Kong protesters because they too are facing coercion from the CCP.

“It is important the people in Taiwan and the protesters in Hong Kong … work with each other, because they’re all experiencing the same thing, and the risks are very real to both of them,” Liu said.

According to former media executive Adam Clayton Powell III, the CCP’s goal has always been to make Hong Kong the same as other mainland cities.

“At some point, it was clear that the way the Chinese treat Hong Kong may be the same way they treat Shanghai and Beijing, and what we’re seeing now is that attention playing out in the streets,” said Powell, a Senior Fellow at the Southern California Media College’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.

What Hong Kong people need most now is the international community’s attention, and a listening ear, Powell said. “So what do friends of democracy in Hong Kong want from us? That’s probably the best thing that we can do. It’s for us to ask that question and then respond.