Has the U.S. Egged On the Protests?
The mass demonstrations in Hong Kong are dramatic, indeed. And given that Hong Kong has long enjoyed a more liberal existence under British rule, protests against a more authoritarian Chinese government (at least it used to be more authoritarian) are not entirely surprising.
But Chinese officials accuse the U.S. of egging on the protests. As the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time blog reports:
On Thursday, Wen Wei Po published an “expose” into what it described as the U.S. connections of Joshua Wong, the 17 year-old leader of student group Scholarism.
The story asserts that “U.S. forces” identified Mr. Wong’s potential three years ago, and have worked since then to cultivate him as a “political superstar.”
Evidence for Mr. Wong’s close ties to the U.S. that the paper cited included what the report described as frequent meetings with U.S. consulate personnel in Hong Kong and covert donations from Americans to Mr. Wong. As evidence, the paper cited photographs leaked by “netizens.” The story also said Mr. Wong’s family visited Macau in 2011 at the invitation of the American Chamber of Commerce, where they stayed at the “U.S.-owned” Venetian Macao, which is owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp.
This isn’t the first time that Beijing-friendly media have accused foreign countries of covert meddling in the former British colony. China’s government has long been concerned that Western intelligence agencies might try to exploit the city’s relatively more open political environment to push democracy in the rest of the country. The various “color revolutions” that ushered in democratic governments across the former Soviet Union in the early 2000s, and which were partly organized by foreign-funded NGOs, heightened those concerns.
Allegations of foreign intervention in Hong Kong have become particularly intense in the run-up to 2017, the earliest that Beijing has said Hong Kong residents can begin to directly elect their leaders. Wen Wei Po and another Beijing-leaning Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao, for example, have accused the U.K. of stationing British spies across Hong Kong institutions. Pro-Beijing publications have also accused Hong Kong media mogul and staunch Beijing critic Jimmy Lai of having connections with the CIA. Mr. Lai is the founder of Next Media Ltd., which owns the Apple Daily newspapers in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and is a major donor to pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong.
In its report on Mr. Wang, Wen Wei Po said that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is making a pointed effort to infiltrate Hong Kong schools, for example through the Hong Kong-America Center, a group headed by former U.S. diplomat Morton Holbrook that promotes H.K.-U.S. ties. It also alleged that the CIA is actively training a new generation of protest leaders in Hong Kong through sponsoring students to study in the U.S., with an aim of stoking future “color revolutions” in the city.
Tony Cartalucci writes:
Behind the so-called “Occupy Central” protests … is a deep and insidious network of foreign financial, political, and media support. Prominent among them is the US State Department and its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as well as NED’s subsidiary, the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
Now, the US has taken a much more overt stance in supporting the chaos their own manipulative networks have prepared and are now orchestrating. The White House has now officially backed “Occupy Central.” Reuters in its article, “White House Shows Support For Aspirations Of Hong Kong People,” would claim:
The White House is watching democracy protests in Hong Kong closely and supports the “aspirations of the Hong Kong people,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday. “
The United States supports universal suffrage in Hong Kong in accordance with the Basic Law and we support the aspirations of the Hong Kong people,” said Earnest, who also urged restraint on both sides.
US State Department Has Built Up and Directs “Occupy Central”
Image: The US through NED and its subsidiaries have a long history of
promoting subversion and division within China.
Earnest’s comments are verbatim the demands of “Occupy Central” protest leaders, but more importantly, verbatim the long-laid designs the US State Department’s NDI articulates on its own webpage dedicated to its ongoing meddling in Hong Kong. The term “universal suffrage”and reference to “Basic Law” and its “interpretation” to mean “genuine democracy” is stated clearly on NDI’s website which claims:
The Basic Law put in place a framework of governance, whereby special interest groups, or “functional constituencies,” maintain half of the seats in the Legislative Council (LegCo). At present, Hong Kong’s chief executive is also chosen by an undemocratically selected committee. According to the language of the Basic Law, however, “universal suffrage” is the “ultimate aim.” While “universal suffrage” remains undefined in the law, Hong Kong citizens have interpreted it to mean genuine democracy.
To push this agenda – which essentially is to prevent Beijing from vetting candidates running for office in Hong Kong, thus opening the door to politicians openly backed, funded, and directed by the US State Department – NDI lists an array of ongoing meddling it is carrying out on the island. It states:
Since 1997, NDI has conducted a series of missions to Hong Kong to consider the development of Hong Kong’s “post-reversion” election framework, the status of autonomy, rule of law and civil liberties under Chinese sovereignty, and the prospects for, and challenges to democratization.
It also claims:
In 2005, NDI initiated a six-month young political leaders program focused on training a group of rising party and political group members in political communications skills.
NDI has also worked to bring political parties, government leaders and civil society actors together in public forums to discuss political party development, the role of parties in Hong Kong and political reform. In 2012, for example, a conference by Hong Kong think tank SynergyNet supported by NDI featured panelists from parties across the ideological spectrum and explored how adopting a system of coalition government might lead to a more responsive legislative process.
NDI also admits it has created, funded, and backed other organizations operating in Hong Kong toward achieving the US State Department’s goals of subverting Beijing’s control over the island:
In 2007, the Institute launched a women’s political participation program that worked with the Women’s Political Participation Network (WPPN) and the Hong Kong Federation of Women’s Centres (HKFWC) to enhance women’s participation in policy-making, encourage increased participation in politics and ensure that women’s issues are taken into account in the policy-making process.
And on a separate page, NDI describes programs it is conducting with the University of Hong Kong to achieve its agenda:
The Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL) at the University of Hong Kong, with support from NDI, is working to amplify citizens’ voices in that consultation process by creating Design Democracy Hong Kong (www.designdemocracy.hk), a unique and neutral website that gives citizens a place to discuss the future of Hong Kong’s electoral system.
It should be no surprise to readers then, to find out each and every “Occupy Central” leader is either directly linked to the US State Department, NED, and NDI, or involved in one of NDI’s many schemes.
Image: Benny Tai, “Occupy Central’s” leader, has spent years associated with
and benefiting from US State Department cash and support.
“Occupy Central’s” self-proclaimed leader, Benny Tai, is a law professor at the aforementioned University of Hong Kong and a regular collaborator with the NDI-funded CCPL. In 2006-2007 (annual report, .pdf) he was named as a board member – a position he has held until at least as recently as last year. In CCPL’s 2011-2013 annual report (.pdf), NDI is listed as having provided funding to the organization to “design and implement an online Models of Universal Suffrage portal where the general public can discuss and provide feedback and ideas on which method of universal suffrage is most suitable for Hong Kong.”
Curiously, in CCPL’s most recent annual report for 2013-2014 (.pdf), Tai is not listed as a board member. However, he is listed as participating in at least 3 conferences organized by CCPL, and as heading at least one of CCPL’s projects. At least one conference has him speaking side-by-side another prominent “Occupy Central” figure, Audrey Eu. The 2013-2014 annual report also lists NDI as funding CCPL’s “Design Democracy Hong Kong” website.
Civic Party chairwoman Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, in addition to speaking at CCPL-NDI functions side-by-side with Benny Tai, is entwined with the US State Department and its NDI elsewhere. She regularly attends forums sponsored by NED and its subsidiary NDI. In 2009 she was a featured speaker at an NDI sponsored public policy forum hosted by “SynergyNet,” also funded by NDI. In 2012 she was a guest speaker at the NDI-funded Women’s Centre “International Women’s Day” event, hosted by the Hong Kong Council of Women (HKCW) which is also annually funded by the NDI.
There is also Martin Lee, founding chairman of Hong Kong’s Democrat Party and another prominent figure who has come out in support of “Occupy Central.” Just this year, Lee was in Washington meeting directly with US Vice President Joseph Biden, US Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and even took part in an NED talk hosted specifically for him and his agenda of “democracy” in Hong Kong. Lee even has a NED page dedicated to him after he was awarded in 1997 NED’s “Democracy Award.” With him in Washington was Anson Chan, another prominent figure currently supporting the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong’s streets.
The U.S. has certainly promoted regime change worldwide, often by using non-governmental organizations as front groups to funnel money to dissidents who will overthrow the government.
For example, USAID has been called the “new CIA”, and FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds told Washington’s Blog that the U.S. State Department is involved in many “hard power” operations, often coordinating through well-known “Non-Governmental Organizations” (NGOs). Specifically, Edmonds explained that numerous well-known NGOs – which claim to focus on development, birth control, women’s rights, fighting oppression and other “magnificent sounding” purposes or seemingly benign issues – act as covers for State Department operations. She said that the State Department directly places operatives inside the NGOs.
Edmonds also told us that – during the late 90s and early 2000s – perhaps 30-40% of the people working for NGOs operated by George Soros were actually working for the U.S. State Department.
If this all sounds too nutty, remember that historians say that declining empires tend to attack their rising rivals … so the risk of world war is rising because the U.S. feels threatened by the rising empire of China.
The U.S. government considers economic rivalry to be a basis for war. And the U.S. is systematically using the military to contain China’s growing economic influence.
Indeed, China, Russia, India and Brazil have formed what some top economists say is an alternative to the Western financial institutions, the World Bank and IMF. And China is challenging the petrodollar.
So it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the U.S. (and the former owner of Hong Kong, Britain) egged on democracy protesters in Hong Kong in order to try to shake up the Chinese regime.