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Politically Incorrect: An Exclusive Interview With Vocalist FREDDY LIM Of CHTHONIC

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Monday, May 18, 2020 @ 9:15 AM

"I have always been highly skeptical of authoritarian governments that refuse transparent supervision."

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Interview By Mike Lewis

In 2007 metal fans across the United States were introduced to Taiwanís CHTHONIC thanks to their inclusion in Ozzfest. While those who were very, very invested in seeking out underground music may have been familiar with them, a majority of people were not. The tour however was about more than just getting their music into another part of the globe and there was in fact another object which the tour provided. Although Taiwan has considered itself an independent nation it has never been recognized as one and CHTHONIC took time on the tour to visit the United Nations and plead their case.

Over a decade has passed and to date, Taiwan still isnít a member of the United Nations and it seems that some, or rather one country in particular, will do anything possible to keep them from achieving the true independence they richly deserve. This also works its way into other aspects of the world as well. It has been underreported, and in fact completely ignored for the most part, that the country who originally brought the COVID-19 treat to the attention of the World Health Organization was in fact Taiwan. The warning was disregarded. Perhaps had action been taken sooner, the world wouldnít be in the state that it currently is now.

Most of Asia has a very different approach to viruses and potential outbreaks. On a number of my visits to Japan especially during cold and flu season itís not uncommon to see people wearing masks. This is done for completely the opposite of what we are now seeing in the United States. It is only those who are sick or believe they are coming down with an illness who will wear them. Taiwan also took precautions very early on with COVID-19. So, what have they done differently and what things can we learn from our friends in Taiwan? Vocalist Freddy Lim was kind enough to take some time from his busy schedule and answer some questions on this very subject.

KNAC.COM: While some know you as the front man of CHTHONIC, you also have been very involved in politics in Taiwan. Please tell us about how you got involved and your current position within the Taiwanese government.

LIM: Although Iíve taken part in social movements in Taiwan, served as chairman of Amnesty International Taiwan, and sometimes stood up to support politicians whose ideas I agree with, the focus of my life had always been CHTHONIC. I full heartedly devoted myself in creating Taiwan-style metal, so that more Taiwanese would fall in love with metal, and more metalhead around the world would enjoy our music.

However, in 2014, the Sunflower Movement happened. Young activists occupied the Parliament to stop the government from signing another trade agreement with China. The movement made headlines in domestic and international media outlets. Many of these young people also took part in movements for the environment and for gender equality. At that time, I often gave speeches at their rallies, hoping to attract more supporters.

That was a very crucial force to change the society by the young people. I believe that to become more influential, social activists should go into politics. So, I hope to lead more young people into politics to push for more changes. To do so, besides having successfully overturned a constituency which has traditionally been a stronghold of the authoritarian force in 2016 and became a parliamentarian myself, Iíve also helped many young people across party lines into local councils in 2018. Iíve won my re-election in 2020, my former official aide, and also a well-known coser in Taiwan, Lai Pin-yu, took the challenge and won another difficult constituency. Many more people of the younger generation have also entered politics.

KNAC.COM: Many people are unaware of the influence that China still has in Taiwan. Why is this so detrimental to the country? Also, as many donít know much about them, please detail the KMT and why itís important to have them removed from power in Taiwan.

LIM: If you are talking about Kuomingtang (KMT), the authoritarian regime that had been kicked out from China and fled to Taiwan in 1949 after World War II, I think it will be a bit complicated to introduce them in details. But anyway, Taiwanese has fought against their authoritarian ruling for decades and now Taiwan has become a democratic country. KMTís influence in Taiwan is getting less and less.

If you are talking about the influence that China has in Taiwan. Actually, Chinaís political intervention and repression of the freedoms of creation and of expression do not affect only Taiwan. itís affecting more and more countries and more and more works. For example, in the Marvel movie Doctor Strange, Ancient One is a Tibetan in the original work, but because out of consideration for the Chinese government, the identity of the role was changed in the movie version.

China infiltrates not only into many democracies, but also international organizations, so that they would speak out for its dictatorship. For example, when the coronavirus pandemic broke out, China tried to hide it, and tried to silence the doctor who first discovered the epidemic. WHO helped to cover it up for China, and lied to the world that itís not serious and there is no need to overreact. As a result, many countries around the world have underestimated its severity, and it became a global pandemic in the end.

China is such a huge dictatorship that represses its own people internally, and infiltrates into other countries, shaking democracies in other countries. Itís causing more and more damages to human beings. I believe the world will eventually face the issue and solve it together. This is inevitable, the only problem is that it may get more difficult when it drags on. If you look at the coronavirus pandemic, Taiwan sensed something wrong as early as in December, and began epidemic control at the border, while preparing for measures within the country. At the time, China denied that the coronavirus is transmittable between humans, and the WHO was helping China to cover up, telling the world not to panic. However, when the world finally realized how serious the situation was, it was too late to stop the pandemic.

So, the Taiwanese, as a people face China on the first line. We will carry on reminding the world how serious the problems are, and actively be part of the solution in the global community.

KNAC.COM: The director of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom, is on record as saying to not politicize the virus and yet has launched some attacks on Taiwan. Please detail further what he has said and Taiwanís response.

LIM: I think you can get the full picture through this news HERE

KNAC.COM: Do you believe that the World Health Organization has been forthcoming and honest in their reports of COVID-19 or do you think there is perhaps some political manipulation from China?

LIM: I think I have answered this question in the answer of the 2nd question. But I want to add that China actually manipulated not only the WHO but many other international organizations, even the UN Human rights council.

KNAC.COM: Currently, Taiwan has only had 432 confirmed cases and a mere 6 deaths from COVID-19. What did the country do in order to prepare for the threat they saw coming and what do you think other countries should have done differently?


  • Be suspicious of the information from the Chinese government and raise the alert for the possible epidemic
  • Border control
  • Get time to speed up the production of masks and other necessary epidemic prevention products
  • Early warning for citizens of possible epidemic situations and teaching them how to how to avoid infection

KNAC.COM: In the United States we have experienced shut downs of businesses which has resulted in a surge of unemployment. We have released criminals from prison in fear of a widespread outbreak and US citizens have faced some very heavy-handed enforcement of the self-quarantine orders, some even having been arrested or given fines. What is your opinion of this approach? Do you believe itís necessary or would there have been a better way to approach this crisis?

LIM: Faced with such a severe epidemic, causing serious casualties, I think this is a state of emergency. Therefore, it is like war time, in this state, the government may have to take urgent measures to stop the spread of the virus. But what citizens of democratic countries should think about is how to withdraw the power of these governments after the epidemic. Not like China. During the epidemic, China vigorously developed a system to control the people, and after the epidemic, it will become their tools to oppress human rights.

KNAC.COM: What is Taiwanís perception of how the United States has handled this crisis?

LIM: Here we donít really discuss too much about how other countries handle this crisis, but only how we can help other countries. So we have donated many epidemic prevention related materials to the U.S.

KNAC.COM: China has reported 84,385 cases with 4,643 deaths but many think these numbers are inaccurate. What is your opinion on their statistics?

LIM: I have always been highly skeptical of authoritarian governments that refuse transparent supervision.

KNAC.COM: What is your personal opinion as far as the origin of COVID-19?

LIM: I believe itís from Wuhan.

KNAC.COM: The U.S. Mission to the UN just tweeted its support for Taiwan to be a member and once again, China has opposed this. Please explain why China is so opposed to this membership.

LIM: Because China is still refusing to recognize Taiwan as a country.

KNAC.COM: Outside of the political sphere and recent world events, what can we look forward to seeing from CHTHONIC in the near future and when will you return to tour the United States?

LIM: Just like we have released an album in 2018 during my first term in the Parliament, I believe that we will have something new in upcoming years. And Iím not sure if we will be able to tour again since my schedule is so tight with my political work. But we do hope to play in some festivals! Letís see.

KNAC.COM: Lastly, what can those who want to help Taiwan do to not only show their support but get others to recognize Taiwan as an independent nation?

LIM: There are a lot of things our foreign friends could do. For instance, those who care more about politics, could voice their support for pro-Taiwan members of their parliaments, and for Taiwan-friendly bills. Those who like spending time surfing the internet, may introduce Taiwan, and the injustice that Taiwan has to cope with to more people. Most importantly, I think, no matter in your daily lives or in your business, you may consider Taiwan as one of your options. Taiwan has a population of 23 million, about the total population of the five North European countries combined, making it a mid-sized market. Taiwan has a mature business environment, and itís centrally located in the East Asian and Southeast Asian markets. Taiwan has diverse cultures, rich landscape--including the highest peak in East Asia and beautiful seas.

So, no matter youíre looking for a business partner, a place to invest, a place to travel and do culture exchange, Taiwan is a good choice. More and more people in different countries now are having collaborations and links with Taiwan on all levels. These are very positive developments which would benefit not only Taiwan, but also people who are associated with these collaborations.

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