From safety of Taiwan, new magazine reaches out to HK diaspora

TAIPEI • A new magazine in support of Hong Kong's struggle for democracy is reaching out to the diaspora and those still living in the former British colony, offering unvarnished commentary from the safety of Taiwan where it is published.

Democratic Taiwan has emerged as a place of refuge for some Hong Kongers, to Beijing's anger, especially after China's enforcement of a tough new national security law in Hong Kong last year.

In Mandarin, the new quarterly magazine is called "Be Water", after a tactic used by protesters in Hong Kong to evade police, and inspired by a maxim of home-grown martial arts legend Bruce Lee that encourages being flexible or formless.

The first issue came out in January.

Called Flow HK in English, the magazine has exiled activist Sunny Cheung as its editor-in-chief and its editorial board includes other well-known campaigners.

Taiwanese activist Chiang Min-yen, who works from the magazine's small Taipei office and is on the editorial board, told Reuters that the publication wanted to provide a forum for discussion and on how to continue the fight for freedom and democracy.

"People are thinking about what's next for Hong Kong and what can Hong Kongers do - how can people support Hong Kong and oppose the authoritarianism of the Communist Party," he said.

The magazine encourages Hong Kong subscribers to get the electronic version due to concern over police potentially finding a physical copy in people's homes.

The Hong Kong authorities maintain that freedom of speech and that of the media are intact, but say national security is a red line.

The national security law punishes anything China considers subversion, secessionism, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

In his piece for the inaugural edition, Mr Cheung urged people not to give up, saying the resistance movement is like a buried stream of fire ready to become a river.

"Overseas Hong Kongers must fight, and will not give up on their dream to go home. If you are not free in Hong Kong, then what is the use of freedom?"


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2021, with the headline 'From safety of Taiwan, new magazine reaches out to HK diaspora'. Subscribe