“If I needed [political asylum], I would go to Taiwan,”  returned bookseller Lam Wing-kee said in a phone interview with a Taiwanese television station on Tuesday night.

“I believe in a government that is democratically elected by the people,” said Lam. “I do not believe in the Chinese government, they use violence to hold on to their power.”

Lam Wing-kee’s Taiwan interview. Photo: Youtube screencap.

Lam held a surprise press conference last Thursday claiming that he was arrested in Shenzhen in October last year and detained for eight months. One of the five missing booksellers to go missing last year, Lam claimed that he was ill-treated by a “special unit” separate from official mainland police.

Independence ‘one of the ways out’

When asked if he faced being extradited back to the mainland, Lam said that it was “impossible” for the Hong Kong government to hand him over to mainland authorities since there was no extradition agreement.

Lam Wing-kee i9n Channel NewsAsia interview. Photo: Screenshot from Channel NewsAsia, via YouTube.

He also said that “independence is one of the ways out” for Hong Kong. Since China has destroyed One Country, Two systems, he said, Hongkongers should find a solution. However, he later said that independence was not quite possible.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said that he wrote to the central government on Tuesday. Lam said “He has done what he needs to do, but it depends on what the mainland [authorities] will say, Hong Kong cannot do anything.”

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Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.