The best original reporting from the Hong Kong Free Press team.

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Caught between politics and the pandemic, a few kilometres from China, Taiwan’s Kinmen island rethinks its economy

On the Taiwanese island of Kinmen, 63-year-old Wu Tseng-dong – Maestro Wu as he brands himself – is beating swords into ploughshares, as the Bible teaches. Or to be exact, artillery shells into kitchen knives. And until the beginning of last year, mainland Chinese bought them up in tremendous numbers: “There is a particular meaning…

Interview: Kiwi Chow sees his Cannes protest doc as an ’emotional vent’ for Hongkongers

Hong Kong director Kiwi Chow, who startled the city by premiering protest documentary Revolution of Our Times at the Cannes Festival last month, said he wants his film to act as an “emotional vent” for Hongkongers amid “trauma” from the 2019 unrests and fears arising from the national security law. The 152-minute documentary, which chronicled…

INTERVIEWS

Interview: ‘Proud to be on the right side of history,’ says Australian singer Kimberley Chen after China parody censored

Australian singer Kimberley Chen has been reading a book her producer gave her: Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. “I think it’s a great book for everybody,” she said. It’s also a fitting title for this stage of the 27-year-old’s career, as she shrugs off China’s censors and rides a surge…

Exclusive: Hongkongers are on the right side of history, says artist Ai Weiwei – ‘I am very proud of them’

Hong Kong artists can still find ways to express themselves despite the challenges posed by growing political censorship, leading Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei believes. After years of delay, the city is set to open its M+ museum, touted as Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture, on November 12 as part of the…

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In Pictures: Hong Kong ‘extremists’ may target elections and festivals, anti-terror chief claims during drill

A minority of “extremists” in Hong Kong may target upcoming elections and important festivals, the city’s counter terrorism chief has claimed, as local disciplinary forces organised a joint drill to simulate armed and bio-chemical attacks.  The drill on Friday saw around 300 officers from the police force, the Customs and Excise Department, the Correctional Services…

In Pictures: Hong Kong’s new HK$5.9bn M+ museum offers stunning showcase for the arts, organisers play down censorship fears

Hong Kong’s HK$5.9 billion M+ modern art museum opens to the public Friday, after years of delays and despite concerns over shrinking artistic freedoms in the city in the wake of the national security law. M+ has been touted as a milestone in the government’s HK$20 billion-plus West Kowloon Cultural District development, intended to create…

When compassion and Covid clash: the sad plight of overseas Hongkongers seeking a last visit to a loved one

Despite some of the world’s strictest quarantine rules, Hongkongers are returning in large numbers to see elderly and critically ill family members before it’s too late. “It’s not just my mom that is dying. I mean, the whole plane of people that came back, no one really had a happy story,” said Valerie Portia, who…

‘The loss of language is the loss of heritage:’ the push to revive Taiwanese in Taiwan

Before he first left Hong Kong for Taiwan in 2016, former research assistant professor Frank Wong began learning Taiwanese. His reasoning was straightforward: he believed most people in Taiwan conversed in that language. “I thought it was logical that most Taiwanese people would be able to speak the Taiwanese language… I thought Mandarin was the…

Covid-19: Hong Kong’s gov’t’s own data raises questions over necessity of 21-day quarantine

Only three of all imported Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong this summer were detected after the first week of quarantine and two of them were staying in the same hotel at overlapping times, raising further questions about the effectiveness of the city’s draconian policy. Among 188 imported Covid-19 cases detected from about 267,000 people arriving…

Hong Kong’s Bleak House Books writes its final chapter

Albert Wan, the proprietor of Bleak House Books, arrived earlier than usual for the Hong Kong store’s last day of operation. In August he had announced his decision to shut down the independent English-language bookstore, citing the political climate in the city. Readying the San Po Kong store for business for the last time on…

Loving one and many: the world of Hong Kong polyamorists

Leonard was glued to a tiny moving dot on his mobile phone, and that dot was his lover, Salome. She had given him her geolocation access before leaving Hong Kong for New York City so that he could check on her safety – while she went on a date 13,000 kilometres away. Sitting at home…

Hong Kong Policy Address: What was missing – and what the omissions mean for the city’s future

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam delivered the last policy address of her current term on Wednesday, laying out her vision for the city. Whilst pro-Beijing lawmakers hailed her address, democrats said Lam’s speech was meant for Beijing’s ears ahead of next year’s leadership race, rather than being of benefit to Hongkongers. Having spotlighted the…

Hong Kong lawyers create court database of protest-related cases in bid to safeguard rule of law

A group of young Hong Kong lawyers have created a database of magistrates’ rulings in protest-related cases in a bid to safeguard the rule of law, amid unprecedented public interest in court hearings after thousands were prosecuted over the 2019 unrest. The Compendium Project – launched in June – has compiled information on more than…

Hongkongers have renewed passion for live music after Covid closures, says singer Cehryl ahead of Clockenflap gig

Multi-talented singer-songwriter-producer Cehryl is set to appear with a full band at Clockenflap’s day-long mini-festival in the heart of the city this Saturday. The Hong Kong-born singer holds a unique place in the local music scene with her dreamy, reflective, genre-bending beats. The 25-year-old moved back home in 2019 after studying music and performing in…

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