Banners reading “Taiwan independence” and “Free Hong Kong, revolution now” decorated the wall of the small shop, which focuses on political titles and was opened with the help of a hugely successful crowd-funding campaign.
The chant “Free Hong Kong” became popular during the huge street protests in the city last year that were initially sparked by the extradition bill but later morphed into a cry for democracy.
Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen, who is loathed by Beijing, sent a bouquet of flowers for the store opening with a note using a Chinese proverb about justice and fairness.
China still sees self-ruling democratic Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to one day seize the island, by force if necessary.
Tsai’s government has advertised Taiwan as a place that values liberties and democracy, encouraging media outlets and organizations that are kicked out of authoritarian China to set up shop there instead.
“I feel very proud of Taiwan’s democratic system and of Taiwan valuing the rule of law and human rights,” parliament speaker Yu Shyi-kun, who visited Lam’s shop on Saturday, told reporters.
“I am here to congratulate him (Lam) for reopening his bookstore and to cheer him on.”
Thomas Lan, a 17-year-old customer, said he closely followed the protests in Hong Kong.
“I support Hong Kong young people’s democracy movement,” he told AFP. “And I am worried that Hong Kong today could be Taiwan tomorrow.”
Lam raised around $200,000 — half of the money pledged in less than a day — via online crowd-funding last year to reopen the shop.