HK Book Fair opens amid caution

Mega event at HKCEC back after a year-long delay due to pandemic – now there is a new concern: National Security Law and the content of books

ONE of Hong Kong’s biggest indoor events opened after the pandemic delayed the annual event for more than a year.

Hong Kong Book Fair organisers HKTDC is offering 35,000 free admissions to people who have received at least one dose of an anti-Covid vaccine

Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam, second right, opens the 2021 book fair

The seven-day show at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre has attracted a million people at pre-Covid events, but concerns have mounted this year as the city contains the virus and amid the new National Security Law.

Backgrounder… Book Fair shelved

Hong Kong Trade Development deputy executive director Benjamin Chau said books displayed by the 670-plus exhibitors would not be vetted but was reported as saying the government agency expected participants to be “self-disciplined”.

Chau said any complaints about a book that is alleged to contravene the new law would be reported to the police. The NSL was implemented in June 2020 to target subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts following often violent street protest the previous year.

Visitors to the fair will be required to use a tracking app or fill in a form, and must wear masks inside. All exhibitors and staff must prove they fully vaccinated before the event or provide a negative testing result within two weeks.

Main picture: One of the exhibition hall scenes on the first day as the 31st Hong Kong Book Fair opened

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