Security law hangs over Chan as taipei stint begins

Occupy Central cofounder Chan Kin-man has arrived in Taiwan, where he will be a visiting professor for a year.

His departure from Hong Kong was announced yesterday on his Facebook page, where Chan said he accepted the job offer from National Chengchi University in Taipei.

He will be joining the university’s sociology department, chairman Hermus Huang Hou-ming revealed on Monday.

Huang wrote that Chan landed in Taiwan on Monday afternoon and praised Chan as a “real intellect.”

Chan said yesterday that he will be teaching social movements and contemporary China. He noted that he was concerned about breaching Hong Kong’s national security law while teaching in Taiwan as it was not restricted to the SAR.

“Especially if I’m planning to return to Hong Kong, [I am] under considerable restrictions,” Chan said.”In the classroom, I play another character mainly to stimulate people’s thoughts rather than advocate my political opinion. This has always been my objective,” he added.

Chan said that sensitive topics are unavoidable in his contemporary China class, such as discussions on whether China will crumble and whether the Chinese Communist Party will stay in power.

“I will try to present opinions from both sides,” Chan said. “But sometimes that can’t be done in Hong Kong such as in the DSE exams.”

He was referring to a history exam question – whether Japan “did more good than harm to China” between 1900 and 1945 – in last year’s Diploma of Secondary Education exam that was scrapped for fear of hurting feelings.

Chan revealed he got the invitation to teach while he was in prison a year ago. “At the moment, I plan to teach for a year and come back,” he said.

Chan is a former associate professor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s department of sociology. He retired in 2019 and was convicted that same year of inciting participation in the 2014 movement. He was released from jail last March after serving a term of 16 months.

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