Episode 6 – White Terror

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In this episode, I’m speaking with Steve Vines, who was a journalist based in Hong Kong for 35 years until he recently left for political reasons in 2021. Steve shares the rapid series of events that ultimately led to his departure from the country he called “home.” Steve sheds light on the current situation in Hong Kong by looking back at its history and the resilient spirit of Hong Kong, which he has studied in depth for his new book, Defying the Dragon: Hong Kong and the World's Largest Dictatorship. He discusses how there was once a high degree of liberty and low democracy in Hong Kong, but now both are non-existent. Later in the episode, we hear a fictional story about the oppression and propaganda that is prevalent in Hong Kong.

White Terror - A Fictional Story in Print


[01:11] Steve’s departure from Hong Kong
[07:39] White Terror explained [10:20] Democracy, Liberty and the Special Administrative Region
[18:30] The incredible spirit of Hong Kong
[23:00] What other societies can learn from the situation in Hong Kong
[30:29] FICTION: White Terror
[33:33] Bob defies the warnings to stay in at night
[37:00] Bob leaves Hong Kong after witnessing something terrible 


  • White Terror refers to the suppression of the democracy movement by the Taiwanwese government after they left the main Chinese mainland and installed a regime on the island of Taiwan. It’s what is similarly happening in Hong Kong now.
  • The Special Administrative Region claimed that Hong Kong would be a fully-fledged capitalist society until 2047. If we look back more carefully, the mainland never really saw one country or two systems applying to the political orient.
  • The narrative that is spun in Hong Kong by the Chinese communist party is that the terrible people of Hong Kong brought all these troubles on themselves by provoking the mainland.
  • Hong Kong survived the 1960s and came back stronger. Hong Kong has survived enormous economic recessions, and many, many things but come back stronger. So the question is, will the spirit of Hong Kong survive this?