Photo taken on June 29, 2021 shows China's national flags and flags of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on a street in China's Hong Kong. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Hong Kong residents were appalled to see a book, The Eight-Nation Allied Army Righteous Army, displayed at a local outlet of Taiwan-based Eslite Bookstore, media reports said on Sunday.
After they complained to the bookstore and the police, the book disappeared from the store's stands and online display panels.
Anybody with even the basic knowledge of Chinese history would know how the Eight-Nation Allied Army, comprising the armies of eight imperialist powers, invaded China in 1900-01, occupied its capital Beijing, massacred tens of thousands of civilians, stole cultural relics and forced China to part with 22,500 tons of silver.
China also had to allow the eight countries to station their troops in Beijing.
Were these righteous deeds? Quizzed about the book, the head of the book's publishers, Zhao Zhengmin, cited "freedom of expression". But there are limits to freedom of expression.
If a book eulogizing China's invaders is freedom of expression, what would a book praising Nazi Germany or supporting racism be called?
Worse, the book's author, Liu Qikun, is a Chinese national who migrated to Canada in the 1980s.
So brutal were the invading armies' acts that even the imperial powers admitted that the invasion was an affront to China.
So why does Liu have such a deep hatred for his motherland? Fortunately, Liu's hatred does not resonate with the public.
Reports said that a member of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was flooded with complaints against the book, showing that overall, Hong Kong residents are patriotic.
Hong Kong residents can tell right from wrong, something that the book's publishers in Taiwan need to learn.