Taipei, March 3 (CNA) Causeway Bay Books, an independent bookstore in Hong Kong that closed its doors after the disappearance of five staff members, will reopen in Taipei this year, its founder said Saturday.


At a press conference in Taipei, Lam Wing-kee (林榮基) said the independent bookstore will open in June or later in the year in Taipei’s Ximending area, which is a popular hangout spot for young people.

Causeway Bay Books, which was selling politically sensitive publications banned in mainland China, closed up shop in Hong Kong in 2015 after five members of its staff disappeared.

A book featuring a photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials on the cover, is showed at the entrance of the closed Causeway Bay Bookstore which is known for gossipy titles about Chinese political scandals and other sensitive issues that are popular with visiting tourists from the mainland, in Hong Kong, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Mainland Chinese authorities say they’re investigating three missing Hong Kong booksellers for unspecified criminal activity, shedding more light on a case that’s gripped residents with fear that Beijing is tightening its hold on the city. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Lam said at the press conference that while young people in Taiwan appear not to be paying much attention to China, he thinks they should be concerned about China’s efforts to suppress Taiwan and try to understand the root of the problem through literature.

He said young Taiwanese and Chinese tourists will be the bookstore’s main target shoppers.

Also speaking at the press conference, Tseng Chien-yuan (曾建元), an associate professor at Taiwan’s Chung Hua University, said Causeway Bay Books used to offer many titles that were not available in either Taiwan or China, and its closure was a huge loss for Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.

Many of the books stocked by the store were by Chinese dissidents, which led to the disappearance of five of the bookstore’s staff members, including Lam, who were later confirmed to have been detained by the Chinese government, Tseng said.

The revival of the bookstore in Taiwan will boost freedom of speech and the publication of books for the Chinese-speaking community, Tseng said.

He said Causeway Bay Books will start crowdfunding soon with the goal of reopening in Taipei in June or the latter half of the year.

Lam said that he hopes the public will become involved in funding the bookstore so that it will belong to them, not to him, and will become a symbol for people with common ideals of freedom.

A man walks down the stairs of the closed Causeway Bay Bookstore which are known for gossipy titles about Chinese political scandals and other sensitive issues that are popular with visiting tourists from the mainland in Hong Kong Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, after the disappearance of Lee Bo, the fifth person associated with publisher Mighty Current to vanish in recent months. Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers say they’ll press the government for answers after a fifth employee of a publisher specializing in books critical of China’s ruling communists went missing. The Chinese words on the poster featuring a photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping reads “Xi Jinping collapse” (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

(By Chang Su-ling and Kuan-lin Liu)