TAIPEI, Taiwan — For decades under British rule and after its handover to China, Hong Kong was a bastion of free speech in the Chinese-speaking world. International media and rights groups established their headquarters there, and it served as a haven for political fugitives, from Tiananmen student leaders to Edward Snowden.

台湾台北——在英国统治之下和回归中国之后的几十年里,香港曾是华语世界言论自由的堡垒。国际传媒和人权组织在香港设立了总部;香港也曾是从天安门学生领袖到爱德华·斯诺登(Edward Snowden)等政治逃亡者的避难所。

In recent years, however, as Beijing has tightened its grip on the former colony, Hong Kong has been increasingly supplanted by Taiwan, a self-governing island that has emerged as one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies. Taiwan now draws the sorts of dissidents, rights groups and events that once naturally gravitated to Hong Kong.

而近年来,随着中国政府收紧对这个前殖民地的控制,香港已经越来越多地被台湾所取代。台湾这个自治岛屿已成为亚洲最具活力的民主体制之一。如今,台湾吸引了那些曾被自然而然地吸引到香港去的异见人士、维权团体及活动。

A human rights film festival that was held in Hong Kong last year will take place this year in Taiwan. A Hong Kong book publisher who was abducted by mainland Chinese agents two years ago and later released will reopen his bookstore in Taiwan.

去年在香港举行的一个人权电影节,今年将在台湾举行;两年前被中国大陆特工绑架、后来获释的一名香港书商,将把他的书店搬到台湾重张开业。

Last year, Reporters Without Borders announced that it would open its first Asian bureau in Taipei, the Taiwanese capital, after considering but rejecting Hong Kong.

去年,无国界记者(Reporters Without Borders)宣布将在台湾首都台北开设其首个亚洲办事处。此前,该组织曾考虑过香港,但决定不去那里

“Hong Kong was originally the first choice for the Asia bureau,” said Wu’er Kaixi, an emeritus member of the group’s board, and a student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen protests who escaped from China via Hong Kong. “But today China doesn’t just suppress its own people, it is now increasingly exporting that suppression to Hong Kong.”

“香港最初曾是亚洲办事处的首选,”吾尔开希说。他是该组织董事会的荣誉成员,也是1989年天安门抗议活动的学生领袖之一。“但如今,中国大陆不只压制自己的人民,它现在正越来越多地把这种压制出口到香港。”

香港书商林荣基曾被中国监禁。他正打算搬至台湾。
香港书商林荣基曾被中国监禁。他正打算搬至台湾。 Isaac Lawrence/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
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The shift reflects the increasingly authoritarian efforts of President Xi Jinping, China’s strongest leader since Mao, to assert his control over China, including Hong Kong. When the British returned Hong Kong to Chinese control in 1997, the “one country, two systems” arrangement was supposed to give the territory a “high degree of autonomy” until at least 2047.

这个变化反映了国家主席习近平为确立他对中国、包括香港的控制所采取的越来越专制的做法。习近平是自毛泽东以来中国最强大的领导人。1997年,当香港从英国移交中国控制时,“一国两制”的安排本应保证香港至少在2047年前保持“高度自治”。

But since the 2014 protests known as the Umbrella Movement, in which thousands of Hong Kong residents filled the streets to call for greater democracy, Mr. Xi’s China has grown more willing to intervene. In 2016, China’s abduction and detention of five Hong Kong-based publishers of critical and often salacious books about Chinese leaders seemed a death knell to Hong Kong’s free speech.

但自从2014年爆发所谓“雨伞运动”,数千名香港居民走上街头呼吁更多的民主以来,习近平领导下的中国大陆已变得更愿意出手干预。2016年,中国绑架并拘留了五名香港书商,他们主要经营批评中国领导人的、而且常常带有色情色彩的书籍。绑架事件似乎敲响了香港言论自由的丧钟。

Lam Wing-kee, one of the five, who said he was held in solitary confinement for five months and pressured into a public confession, is now planning to reopen his bookshop, which had been in Hong Kong until he shut it down, in Taiwan.

林荣基是五名书商之一。他说,他被单独监禁了五个月,并被迫公开认罪。他现在正打算在台湾重张开业,他的书店关门之前一直在香港。

“We Hong Kong people look to Taiwan for lessons,” Mr. Lam said. “And people in Taiwan look to see how the Chinese mainland controls Hong Kong.”

“我们香港人看台湾怎么教,”林荣基说。“台湾人也看中国大陆怎么控制香港。”

The growing recognition of Taiwan as one of Asia’s freest environments for expression is itself a dramatic change. Until 1987, the island was under brutal martial law, controlled by the dictator Chiang Kai-shek, who had fled the Communist takeover of mainland China in 1949, and later his son.

越来越多的人认识到台湾是亚洲最自由的言论环境之一,这本身就是一个巨大的变化。台湾直到1987年都一直处于残暴的戒严令之下,独裁者蒋介石和他的儿子曾先后控制着这个岛屿。蒋介石在1949年共产党夺取中国大陆之后逃到了台湾。

3月,为纪念台湾活动人士李明哲被中国监禁一周年而举行的示威游行活动。中国用李明哲惩一儆百,判处其煽动颠覆国家政权罪。
3月,为纪念台湾活动人士李明哲被中国监禁一周年而举行的示威游行活动。中国用李明哲惩一儆百,判处其煽动颠覆国家政权罪。 Ashley Pon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Taiwan’s freedoms were hard-won. Last Saturday, Taiwan marked Freedom of Speech Day on the 29th anniversary of the death of the free-speech advocate Deng Nan-jung, who burned himself to death as the police prepared to storm his office and arrest him for publishing a revised constitution.

台湾的自由来之不易。上周六,台湾庆祝了言论自由日,那是言论自由倡导者郑南榕逝世29周年的日子。因为他刊登了新宪法草案,警方要逮捕他,在警方准备闯进他的办公室时,他自焚身亡。

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Mr. Deng’s death prompted large protests that helped set the island toward democratic government and greater freedoms.

郑南榕的死引发了大规模的抗议活动,推动台湾走向了民主政府和更大的自由。

Cédric Alviani, the Taipei bureau director of Reporters Without Borders, said Taiwan has since become an “island of stability” in a region where press freedoms were backsliding. “Freedom of expression is a big part of Taiwanese culture,” he said.

无国界记者台北办事处主任艾伟昂(Cédric Alviani)说,自那以后,台湾成了一个新闻自由正在倒退的地区的“稳定之岛”。“言论自由是台湾文化的一个重要组成部分,”他说。

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Mr. Deng’s widow, Yeh Chu-lan, warned that Taiwan’s freedoms were not guaranteed. “We could lose our freedom of expression anytime in the face of Chinese hegemony,” she said.

郑南榕遗孀叶菊兰周六与记者交谈时警告说,台湾的自由还没有得到保障。“在中国的霸权面前,台湾公民社会的言论自由随时都可能会失去,”她说。

Hong Kong has seemed a cautionary tale of Beijing’s interference. Some of the young leaders of the Umbrella Movement were sentenced to prison terms, raising concerns about interference by Beijing. Hong Kong’s Legislature is currently moving to outlaw insults to the Chinese national anthem after Hong Kong soccer fans booed it.

香港似乎就是中国政府干预的一个警示。“雨伞运动”的几位年轻领导人被判处监禁,引发了外界对北京干预的担忧;在香港球迷发出嘘声之后,香港立法机构目前正在努力推出禁止侮辱中国国歌的立法。

Li Dan, organizer of the 1905 Hong Kong Human Rights Film Festival, said that he will relocate this year’s event in May to Taiwan, with a smaller satellite festival in Hong Kong. The move, Mr. Li said, came after the festival had difficulty in finding large donors to sponsor the event in Hong Kong, where the costs are high.

“1905香港人权电影节”(1905 Hong Kong Human Rights Film Festival)的组织者李丹说,他将把这个今年5月举办的活动搬到台湾去,只在香港搞一个规模较小的卫星活动。李丹说,异地举办是因为电影节在香港举办需要大型赞助商,因为香港的费用很高,而他们在这方面遇到了困难。

台湾电影导演李惠仁说,他去年申请前往香港的签证被拒。他的纪录片《并:控制》于3月在香港上映。
台湾电影导演李惠仁说,他去年申请前往香港的签证被拒。他的纪录片《并:控制》于3月在香港上映。 Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

“Right now in Hong Kong there is increasing control of information and media, so, often there is a fear of the term ‘human rights,’” he said.

“现在香港越来越有这个信息媒体方面的管控,所以很多时候害怕human rights(人权)这个词,”李丹说。

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“As for the environment for free speech in Taiwan, I’d say it’s the best in Asia — there’s nothing you can’t say,” he added.

“台湾言论自由的气氛,我觉得是整个亚洲最好的,没有什么是不能说的,”他补充说。

Others also say that Taiwan has proved much more welcoming to regional rights activists. The Network of Young Democratic Asians, a group with members from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia, decided to meet last September in Taipei because it was the only place that was certain to allow all of its members to enter.

其他人也表示,事实证明,台湾对该地区人权活动人士的欢迎程度更高。在香港、台湾和东南亚有会员的“亚洲民主青年连线”(The Network of Young Democratic Asians)决定在台北举行去年9月的会议,因为台湾是唯一能确保其所有成员入境的地方。

“I felt really glad that Taiwan could still provide this kind of safe space for activists from different parts of Asia,” Johnson Yeung, the head of the group’s development team, said in a phone interview.

“台湾能为来自亚洲不同地区的活动人士提供这种安全空间,我真的很高兴,”亚洲民主青年连线发展部负责人杨政贤(Johnson Yeung)在电话采访中说。

While Taiwan is relishing its new reputation as the center for free speech in the Chinese-speaking world, there have also been instances when Taiwan has appeared to compromise on its political values to avoid angering Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its territory.

尽管台湾正在享受其作为华语世界言论自由中心的新名声,但也有实例显示,台湾为了避免触怒北京,似乎在政治价值观上有所妥协。北京方面宣称台湾是其领土的一部分。

Last year, Taiwan returned a Chinese activist seeking political asylum to China. Some Chinese say it is also getting harder for mainland activists to enter Taiwan to attend workshops or conferences.

去年,台湾遣返了一名寻求政治庇护的中国维权人士。一些大陆人说,大陆活动人士为参加讲习班或会议而入境台湾也变得越来越难。

香港铜锣湾书店门口,支持者留下的话语。在书店店主被中国关押后,该书店被关闭。
香港铜锣湾书店门口,支持者留下的话语。在书店店主被中国关押后,该书店被关闭。 Jerome Favre/European Pressphoto Agency

Zhao Sile, a Chinese journalist and author who writes about civil society in China, said Chinese activists have told her that it has become more difficult in the past two years to obtain visas from Taiwan.

中国记者、作家赵思乐撰写有关大陆公民社会的文章。她说,大陆的活动人士告诉她,在过去两年里,获得入台签证已变得更加困难。

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Ms. Zhao, now in Taipei as a guest of National Chung Cheng University, said in an interview that she knew of multiple cases in which nongovernment groups or universities that invited a Chinese participant used medical visas as a workaround. The visas, which are easier to obtain than normal visas, are intended for medical tourists coming to Taiwan for plastic surgery.

赵思乐受国立中正大学邀请访问台北,她在一次采访中说,作为解决办法,非政府组织或大学在邀请中国参与者时,为他们申请医疗签证,她知道好几个这样的例子。医疗签证比普通签证更容易获得,那是为前来台湾接受整形手术的医疗游客所提供的签证。

Accustomed to free speech at home, Taiwanese are also running afoul of the authorities in China and even Hong Kong.

习惯了当地言论自由的台湾民众,也在与中国乃至香港的有关当局发生冲突。

Last year, China made an example of one Taiwanese activist, Lee Ming-cheh, who was detained upon entering China. After being held incommunicado for months, he gave what appeared to be a forced confession before being sentenced to five years in prison for state subversion.

去年,中国用台湾活动人士李明哲惩一儆百,他在前往大陆后被拘留。在与外界失去联系数月后,他露面做了看来是被迫的认罪,之后被判处五年监禁。

The case has had a chilling effect in Taiwan because the court used as evidence postings that Mr. Lee had made on social media while in Taiwan.

这个案件在台湾产生了寒蝉效应,因为大陆法院把李明哲在台湾时在社交媒体上发的帖子作为证据。

In November, the Taiwanese filmmaker Kevin H. J. Lee said he was denied a visa to Hong Kong. He thinks it was because of his new documentary, “Self-Censorship,” which was released last month. Mr. Lee believes the authorities in Hong Kong or China acted to prevent his entry after seeing his crowdfunding page, which included a trailer that was partly filmed in Hong Kong.

去年11月,台湾电影导演李惠仁(Kevin H. J. Lee)说,他申请前往香港的签证被拒。他认为那是因为上个月上演的他的新纪录片《并:控制》(Self-Censorship)。李惠仁认为,香港或中国大陆当局在看到他的众筹网页后采取了行动,阻止他前往香港。该网页上的预告片有一部分是在香港拍摄的。

In March, a group of Hong Kong university students contacted Mr. Lee to ask if he would be willing to speak with them from Taiwan after a showing of his film. Concerned that they might be monitored by school officials, they were only willing to communicate via the social media platform WhatsApp, he said, which features end-to-end encryption.

今年3月,香港大学的一些学生与李惠仁联系,问他是否愿意在他的电影放映后,从台湾与他们远程对话。他说,学生由于担心自己可能受学校官员监控,只愿意通过社交媒体平台WhatsApp进行交流,该平台具有端到端加密功能。

“It was only at the last moment that they quickly notified everyone and told them ‘We’re about to show this film,’” Mr. Lee said. “I told them that when I look at the situation in Hong Kong it reminds me of Taiwan before the end of martial law. How could Hong Kong end up like this?”

“他们直到最后一刻才赶快通知大家说‘等一下我们要播这部片子’,”李惠仁说。“我就看到香港的那个状态,我就向他们说,好像台湾解严之前。香港怎么会到那样的状态?”