Hong Kong-based anti-Communist magazine Cheng Ming has announced that it will cease publication after 40 years in print. Its sister magazine The Trend will also disappear from the shelves. Local media claim it is related to the death of their founder of old age.
Cheng Ming monthly was launched on November 1, 1977, whilst The Trend began publishing a year later. In its latest issue on October 1 – a joint issue of both magazines – staff members wrote a letter to bid farewell to readers.
The reason for the closure was not stated clearly, though the letter said it was an honour to receive support over the past four decades.
“Over the past 40 years, the two magazines provided a freedom of speech platform to call for democracy, human rights, freedom, and to criticise dictatorship and corruption – we have witnessed history together,” it said.
It thanked readers for their support: “The two magazines are fortunate to bear the dream and mission of a generation, leaving behind our footsteps, to make humble contributions with our very limited resources and capability.”
The magazines’ founder Wen Hui was born in Guangzhou in 1921 and moved to Hong Kong in the 1940s. He joined the Chinese Communist Party’s underground news agencies in Hong Kong, before being transferred to the Wen Wei Po newspaper. But he was turned away from the party after the Cultural Revolution.
The two magazines have been criticised by the party as “counter-revolutionary,” after an article by Wen in 1982 criticising Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Wen left Hong Kong for the US in 1997.
Citing unnamed sources, Oriental Daily reported that the closure was related to the death of Wen – who passed away at 96 in New York recently. His family reportedly did not want to carry on publishing the titles, which had been losing money.
The 19th Communist Party congress will be held on October 18.
The September 2017 issue of Cheng Ming claimed that Wang Qishan, one of the top ranking officials, had suffered a cardiac arrest but was saved.
At the 20th anniversary celebration of Cheng Ming in New York in 1997, Wen reportedly said: “If the totalitarian rule of the Communist Party ends, we will shut down immediately. If it ends today, we will shut down as late as an hour after that.”