Foreign/external forces at work in Hong Kong

[Updated on July 1, 2017]

[May 6, 2016] Declassified documents shows that the UK and US understood in 1984 that the lack of specificity in the s/election of the Chief Executive formed the biggest loophole of the Sino-British Joint Declaration 九七密檔揭特首選舉漏洞 英美唔理2047靠自己

[Oct. 23, 2015] Joshua Wong: What’s the fuss about foreign visits 黃之鋒:外國聯繫 何罪之有

[Oct. 21, 2015] Proof of foreign involvement in Occupy protests absent, one year after CY promise to media

[July 8] Poisoning The Well Of U.S.-China RelationsIn the past few years, virtually no area of Chinese policy has remained untouched by the influence of “hostile foreign forces.”

[July 2] If the stock market crash is due to hostile foreign forces, then why wouldn’t the umbrella movement? In China, hostile foreign forces blamed for bursting stock market bubble

Hostile foreign forces often get blamed for trying to undermine China, and were said by the government to be behind pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong last year.

Hong Kong’s Occupy protest ‘was an attempt at colour revolution’: PLA general

The Occupy protests were “an orchestrated Hong Kong version of a colour revolution” and Beijing’s response should serve as a warning to advocates for Taiwan’s independence, according to a senior PLA general. General Sun Jianguo, a deputy chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army, made the comments …“Hostile forces have always attempted to make Hong Kong the bridgehead for subverting and infiltrating mainland China,” Sun said. “The illegal Occupy Central activities in 2014 came as minority radical groups in Hong Kong, under the instigation and support of external forces … orchestrated a Hong Kong version of a colour revolution.”

[Sep 22, 2015] Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement and Beijing’s Fear of Foreign Influence


Original post with updates:

CY Leung and pro-establishment figures suggest that Hong Kong protestors are under the instigation of foreign forces. Maybe they should talk to protestors  to find out for themselves. At least watch the live streams (see separate post “A social media revolution“.)

It is important to distinguish between international monitoring and media attention that are integral to HK’s success  and foreign orchestration of protest activities. There is plenty of the former and no evidence of the latter. Instead of blaming foreign forces, why doesn’t the HK government try to win back the hearts and minds of the Occupy Generation?

A Notre Dame student from HK asks this question: What is foreign and what is not foreign in HK? Good question. See In Hong Kong, Just Who Is an Expat, Anyway? HK is not a fortress. Let us not forget that HK is an international city that is fully integrated with the rest of the world. It would be disastrous for HK to follow China’s anti-foreignism (see In New China, ‘Hostile’ West Is Still Derided and China Targets ‘Hostile Foreign Forces’) What do we make of HK’s brightest and richest who often have dual citizenship? They are both local and foreign. Among the population, 300,000 Canadian citizens live in Hong Kong, of whom nearly 90 per cent are dual citizens. The Economist’s last count in 2008 shows that 30,000 people held both Australian and Hong Kong passports. The US counts 60,000 citizens in HK–as the US does not recognize dual citizenship, it is not clear how many of those American citizens are also HK citizens. The Basic Law is explicit that foreigners can serve as public servants save in a few specified posts. Foreigners can also serve in the Legislative Council “provided that the proportion of such members does not exceed 20 per cent of the total membership of the Council.” (Basic Law, Art. 101 and 67)


HK has always invited and welcomed “foreign forces”. The HK government, the business sector, and civil society have always looked to the world for the best talents, best ideas and best practices, and have always tried to sell the best of HK to the world. It is hardly surprising that the Umbrella Movement embodies the fusion of the West and the East, just like many other aspects that HK is so proud of. See a Eurasian Movement.

While HK protestors have taken inspirations from around the world, their nonviolent discipline, self-organization, artistic talent and strong determination have won them admiration from everywhere. Subsequent movements are certain to draw on the HK experience. As the Umbrella Movement becomes HK’s latest export, is HK now “interfering” in other countries?

[Nov. 8] Juli Minoves of Liberal International said during a visit to Occupy Admiralty:

“With this umbrella movement, they want to be able to decide who will govern them in the future. This is great hope. It’s great hope for Hong Kong. We don’t want to interfere at all in the internal affairs of China, not at all. On the contrary, I have to say, it’s the students that interfere with us, because they have actually brought about the imagination of the world. We’re just here by chance. We admire what they are doing. We are not interfering at all. We just want to show our support.” (50外國領事議員撐場 讚學生勇敢香港有希望)

[Nov. 13] A high school student Lavina appeals for international attention: Lavina : I need your help [Jan. 6, 2015] Despite the accusation, the government’s public sentiments report makes no mention of foreign instigation. [Jan. 14, 2015]  CY Leung repeats claim of ‘external forces’ influencing Occupy – but provides no evidence

In an event on Monday that was open only to two pro-government newspapers – Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Pao – Leung reportedly said the leaked emails showed “the trace of external forces” in the Occupy movement… But Leung has so far failed to explain how the donations were actually related to the foreign interference. A spokesman for Leung’s office said no further information would be provided. (CY Leung was referring to leaked emails in Wen Wei Po’s report 「佔中」勾結外部勢力證據大曝光)

What ‘foreign forces’ are truly threatening HK

In fact, the only external force interfering in our local affairs is either from mainland China or from certain anti-party or anti-Xi Jinping factions embedded in Hong Kong…  As a matter of fact, it is the anti-party and anti-Xi forces who should be held responsible for the political chaos and social disharmony in Hong Kong in recent years, especially after Leung gained power with the support of certain party factions and the indigenous Communists. They are the root of the social unrest that has haunted Hong Kong for so long.

[Jan. 29] Hong Kong added to Beijing’s list of ‘core interests’ amid post-Occupy unease:

Hong Kong has been named publicly as one of China’s “core interests and key concerns” in a veiled warning from Beijing to Washington over territorial issues. The rare reference surfaced in a military-to-military meeting in Beijing on Tuesday between PLA deputy chief of general staff Sun Jianguo and US undersecretary of defence for intelligence Michael Vickers, the PLA Daily reported…  His remarks follow repeated claims from mainland media and Hong Kong officials that “foreign forces” had meddled in the city’s politics.

Pundits believe that the talk about foreign forces is to push for the introduction of national security bill in HK.

Mainland think tank on HK affairs forms group ‘to safeguard national security:  The new group, formed under the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, came into being on the same day the city was met with a high-level suggestion to copy and paste the mainland’s tough security laws into the Basic Law.

“Beijing is doing this because they want to [turn] the Umbrella Movement into [a] national security concern.” (The Coming Storm of Hong Kong Nationalism)



The Chief Executive complains about foreign forces instigating the Umbrella Movement: “There is obviously participation by people, organizations from outside of Hong Kong,” Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in an interview yesterday on Asia Television Ltd. “And this is not the only time they do it. And this is not an exception, either.” One of the pieces of evidence is that the occupy sites are overflowing with supplies (see Wenwei Pao). This has prompted some protestors to suggest a “super-coooperative action”  — with everyone who has donated water, food, and other supplies to report to the police en masse. See Faces of Hong Kong’s Occupy Movement: The Resource SuppliersThe Faces of Hong Kong’s Occupy Movement: Study Time,《佔領故事》:物資供應, “Hong Kong Protests Are Leaderless but Orderly” . Also “The Main Hong Kong Protest Site Is a Perfect Anarchist Collective.” See also post on leadership.


[Oct. 30] Another piece of evidence is that protestors have been using social media — Facebook, Firechat, Twitter, Google Map, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. — to mobilize support. Regina Ip probably saw my blog post on “a social media movement.” Yes, the use of social media has made this self-organized movement possible. But social media = foreign interference? This commentary asks if Ip owns a smart phone which typically comes with social media apps. And if Ip does not like foreign/Western media technologies, would she change her mind when Beijing uses them? See Dictatorships Go High Tech—With Our Help and Lawsuit claims Cisco aided Chinese repression 


[Oct. 30] Pro-Beijing legislator Ip Kwok-him adds one more piece of evidence: churches in the Admiralty area were instructed by some foreign forces to serve as shelters for protestors. Church leaders replied: We opened our doors to protestors because the police were firing tear gas.

[Oct. 30] Nevertheless, Legco president and another pro-establishment lawmaker Jasper Tsang Yok-sing disputes claims that foreign forces are behind Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests:

“I can’t see it happening,” he said in an interview with Cable TV. “Unless you treat foreign diplomats expressing concerns as an intervention by external forces. I think their concerns, raised objectively, were not intended to influence, dominate or instigate any side,” he said.

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Tsang  says that he understands the Occupy Generation. I have more trust in him than CY who also says that “I was once young too.” After all, Tsang was willing to risk a criminal record and his future for a higher ideal–albeit the ideal of socialism. Tsang and his brother Tsang Tak-sing suffered under the British colonial government for their pro-PRC position during the anti-colonial riots in 1967. (曾德成派反殖傳單坐監 曾鈺成:又唔係打人放炸彈)


What are the sources of foreign interference? The UN? US? International NGOs? Australia? Britain? Singapore?

First of all, Michael Davis argues that the international community should hold China up to her obligations:

A first consideration is whether other countries have a legitimate interest in Chinese human rights practices. Britain may claim a direct interest in Hong Kong’s development, being one of the parties to the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The US may not be a party, but Beijing nevertheless wooed Washington decades ago to support its Hong Kong model. Both countries are asked to treat Hong Kong as a separate entity from the mainland for a variety of purposes involving trade and legal recognition, which has attracted thousands of foreign businesses to the city. Such separate recognition surely depends on the city’s promised autonomy and democratic development. Beyond these Hong Kong-specific obligations, Beijing has other commitments to human rights under a variety of international treaties. The UN’s Universal Periodic Review, due for the mainland this month, is one acknowledgment that the human rights practices of countries are matters of international concern.



Of course, China filed the Sino-British Joint Declaration with the UN. Is the UN doing its job? “The United Nations Human Rights Committee called on China on Thursday to ensure universal suffrage in Hong Kong, stressing that included the right to stand for election as well as the right to vote.”  (U.N. rights watchdog calls for open elections in Hong Kong and U.N. Human Rights Panel Urges China To Allow Free Elections in Hong Kong ) Also citizens’ effort to preserve protest art and register with the UN: “Archives Action Group, a voluntary organization, wants to archive as many Occupy-related materials as possible to help future generations understand the movement’s history as well as to register for UNESCO’s Memory of the World program, am730 reported Thursday.”

[Dec. 3] Beijing tells Britain it has no ‘moral responsibility’ for Hong Kong: Beijing has dismissed the notion that Britain has any moral responsibility for Hong Kong after 1997, shortly after a top Chinese diplomat claimed the Joint Declaration that settled the city’s future was already “void”.

HK Federation of Student representatives Alex Chow and Lester Shum attended the Geneva summit on human rights and democracy, 周永康岑敖暉將赴日內瓦Geneva Summit 2015 Can Communist Regimes Reform?




Patten criticizes Britain:

“When China asserts that what is happening in Hong Kong is nothing to do with us we should make it absolutely clear publicly and privately that that is not the case. “There has always been quite a strong group in government and the business community which believes that you can only do business with China if you carefully avoid in all circumstances treading on China’s toes or saying anything the Chinese disagree with,” he said. … Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong before the 1997 handover, said China’s actions were “spit in the face” of the 1984 Joint Declaration on the conditions under which Hong Kong would be handed over. “…the Joint Declaration provides obligations on China to us for 50 years. [It] is the Joint Declaration, not the Chinese declaration,” he said.

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Activists stage sit-in outside British consulate

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[Nov. 24, 2014] MPs’ trip to China cancelled after row over Hong Kong protests debate

A visit by a cross-party group of parliamentarians to China, led by Peter Mandelson, has been cancelled at the last minute after Beijing refused to grant a visa to a Conservative MP in retaliation for a Westminster debate on the recent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong… members of the delegation, who included the former Labour cabinet minister and China expert Liam Byrne, shadow cabinet member Emma Reynolds, Conservative MPs Conor Burns and Alok Sharma, were understood to feel that the Chinese embassy was interfering in a wholly unacceptable way in the internal affairs of the UK.

[Nov. 30] British MPs banned from Hong Kong visit : Sir Richard Ottaway, chairman of the Commons foreign affairs committee, will on Monday seek an emergency Commons debate after being told by the deputy Chinese ambassador Ni Jian on Friday “that if we travel to Hong Kong we will be refused entry”.

[Dec. 3]  Richard Ottaway, the chairman of the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said during the emergency debate that Ni Jian, deputy Chinese ambassador to Britain, had conveyed the message on Friday that the Joint Declaration “is now void and only covered the period from the signing in 1984 until the handover in 1997“. See also China ‘Voids’ Hong Kong Rights and Does China Think the Sino-British Joint Declaration Is Void? 

[Dec. 12] Foreign Affairs Committee continue to hear Hong Kong evidence.

[Dec. 16] Evidence session with two protesters who were demonstrating outside the British Consulate General in Hong Kong since November. They appreciated that British MPs repeatedly asked “How do you Want Britain to Help Hongkongers Get Democracy?” Well, let’s don’t forget that the UK long betrayed HK before 1997Cameron “groveled low” during his trip to Beijing in Dec. 2013 and the British government has made its business relationship with China a top priority.

[Dec. 17] Hong Kong minister lambasted for saying that China alone pledged to keep city’s way of life intact:

Arguing that Britain has “no moral duty” towards its former colony, Raymond Tam Chi-yuen gave his interpretation of the key concept in the 1984 Joint Declaration that paved the way for the 1997 handover and underpinned “one country, two systems”…  Article 3 of the treaty, which states that certain basic policies of the People’s Republic of China towards Hong Kong, including rights and freedoms for Hongkongers, “will remain unchanged for 50 years”. “That article is a declaration by the PRC, not a joint one with London,” Tam said.

Does China Think the Sino-British Joint Declaration Is Void? Recent statements suggest China pays little heed to the document governing Hong Kong’s handover

[Jan. 14, 2015] So, the British government is consistent: ‘It’s better than nothing’: British Foreign Office backs Beijing’s reform framework for Hong Kong. Wonder if this counts as foreign interference.

[Jan. 24, 2015] Despite the Foreign Office’s compromising position, British Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire – the UK’s top official on Hong Kong and China affairs – was denied meetings with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, in a protocol breach that has left diplomats of the former colonial power fuming.

[Feb. 9] VOA 英议会外委会主席专访:中国向何处去

[Feb. 27]  Britain urges consensus on electoral reform:

Hammond said the parameters endorsed by the National People’s Congress in August last year on the 2017 election are “clearly more restrictive than many anticipated”. However, he said there is space within them for a meaningful step forward.

[Mar. 3] UK lawmakers push London to get tough with China over Hong Kong autonomy

House of Commons report: The UK’s relations with Hong Kong: 30 years after the Joint Declaration

The preservation of both the letter and the spirit of the Joint Declaration is crucial to Hong Kong’s economic and business success, and the UK has both a legal right and a moral obligation to monitor the implementation of the principles established in the treaty. This is primarily done via the FCO’s six-monthly reports on Hong Kong, which aim to record developments in Hong Kong and to establish the UK position on significant issues of interest or concern. We found the reports bland and repetitive, giving little sense of wider context for events in Hong Kong or the UK Government’s views on important topics. We would like to see the reports restructured to include less ambiguous conclusions, supported by more in-depth analysis of the political, social and economic implications of the developments they describe. Recent debates over electoral reform have exposed deep divisions in Hong Kong and a wide divergence of expectations for its political future. Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, promises that the people of Hong Kong will eventually be able to elect their Chief Executive and Legislative Council by universal suffrage. On 31 August 2014, the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress issued a decision stating that universal suffrage could be introduced in 2017, but with severe restrictions on the candidate nomination process. As evidenced by the Occupy Central campaign that at its peak brought much of Hong Kong to a standstill, the SCNPC’s decision does not go far enough in meeting the aspirations of Hong Kong’s people. We agree with the UK Government that the specific details of constitutional reform are for the governments of China and Hong Kong to decide together with the people of Hong Kong, but we do not share its view that the current electoral proposals for 2017 offer “genuine choice” to the people of Hong Kong. We also judge that the UK can and should take a clearer position on the overall pace and degree of democratic reform.

[Mar. 27] John Major says that China has not lived up to the spirit of the Sino-British Joint Declaration 英前首相:對8.31決定失望

When push comes to shove, don’t expect Britain to stand up for Hong Kong’s rights

Cabinet split over ‘Asian bank’ after UK’s shock support

‘A British official, who has been closely following the debate, said his government was split along an economic and strategic divide, just like the Abbott government, and its decision could be explained by the shifting balance of bureaucratic power.  The UK’s relationship with China is now, and has been for at least the last two years, ‘owned’ by the Treasury, not the Foreign Office,” he said. “That explains it all.”‘

See the Economist’s harsh words on Britain’s foreign policy: Britain’s decline and fallMeet Little Britain, a shrinking actor on the global stage:

[Britain] has become a “foreign-policy irrelevance”. America despairs of Britain’s shrinking armed forces and criticises its “constant accommodation” of China. Allies are worried, opponents scornful.

Littler England The United Kingdom’s Retreat From Global Leadership

Great Britain reckons with possible future as Little England

Zakaria: After an extraordinary 300-year run, Britain has essentially resigned as a global power.

How China really sees us: The country’s leaders think the UK is quaint, broke and insignificant

Britain’s eagerness to please Beijing reached new heights over the government’s race to be the first to announce that it would join China’s new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), despite Washington’s undisguised disapproval….

When David Cameron visited China in 2013, the Global Times, the Communist Party mouthpiece, seized the moment to let him know how Beijing views the United Kingdom. “The Cameron administration should acknowledge that the UK is not a big power in the eyes of the Chinese,” the paper mused. “We’ve discovered that Britain is easily replaceable in China’s European foreign policy. Moreover, Britain is no longer any kind of ‘big country,’ but merely a country of old Europe suitable for tourism and overseas study, with a few decent football teams.” It could hardly have been put more plainly.

[Oct. 6, 2015] UK’s China policy is for sale

“It is now clear that the British Treasury rather than the Foreign Office runs China policy… Amoral foreign policy has been a unique specialty of the U.K. for centuries… As it is, there is the sneaking suspicion that Osborne went to Xinjiang not for commercial reasons, but to pander for political favor in Beijing. And that leads us to the depressing conclusion that it is not just British business and expertise that is for sale in China – so is British government policy.

[Oct. 23, 2015] Has Britain Sold Out to Beijing?

[Oct. 2015] Xi Jinping’s state visit to the UK

[Sep. 19, 2015] George Osborne and Jim O’NeillIt’s in Britain’s interest to bond with China now

[Sep 20, 2015] Osborne kicks off China visit vowing to be Beijing’s best friend

[Sep 26, 2015] George Osborne’s epic kowtow to China

[Oct. 15, 2015] During Xi’s visit to the UK in late Oct, the issue of HK is downplayed. (Chinese President Xi Jinping to pledge multi-billion pound investments during state visit to UK to foster Sino-British ties)

[Oct. 20 2015] Joshua Wong: Teenage Hong Kong protest leader urges UK to press China on human rights in the former colonyBritain ‘ignoring Hong Kong for the business deals’ – Joshua Wong raps UK over Xi Jinping visit

[Oct. 21, 2015] Queen puts in a word for people of Hong Kong

[Oct. 23, 2015] Xi Jinping state visit: Cameron seeks assurances over Hong Kong freedom ; ‘Let Hong Kong elect its own leader’: Britain’s David Cameron asks Xi Jinping to ensure city’s political freedom:  “While he deserves credit for asking Xi not to vet Hong Kong’s chief executive candidates, this came too little, too late.” ; 香港在英國媚共後的悲劇命運


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The UK finally criticizes China’s handling of HK after the Lee Bo case (see also “freedom“):

UK Foreign Affairs committee considers probe on Sino-British ties U.K. Says Hong Kong Bookseller Detention is ‘Serious Breach’ of Treaty ;  British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says Brit bookseller removed from Hong Kong under duressPhilip Hammond says HK bookseller was ‘involuntarily removed’ Britain issues warning over threats to Hong Kong freedoms

China’s response: ‘Mind your words’: China slams Britain for ‘interfering’ in Hong Kong bookseller case

Has UK gone far enough in charging China with HK treaty breach? ; Britain’s words on Lee Bo are too few, too weak

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visits Hong Kong on April 8, 2016: Britain issues warning over threats to Hong Kong freedoms ;  Hammond to discuss rule of law, ‘one country, two systems’ and political reform in meetings with Chief Executive CY Leung and Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma

Seems that pro-independence young people need to learn more about the UK’s China policy:  New Hong Kong political party seeks independence via ‘return to British rule’




[April 25, 2016] The European External Action Service and European Commission released their 2015 annual report on Hong Kong: The European Union considers the case of the five book publishers to be the most serious challenge to Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the ‘one country, two systems’ principle since Hong Kong’s handover to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1997. The case raises serious concerns about respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. The European Union calls for the constitutional arrangements for Hong Kong SAR within the PRC to be fully respected.  It is important to restore the trust of Hong Kong residents and the international community in the Basic Law and the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. ( ANNUAL REPORT 2015 and press release ). 



[May 12, 2016] New US gov’t report says bookseller saga may be ‘most significant breach’ of One Country, Two Systems

[Nov. 17, 2015] US-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s Annual Report to Congress contains a section on HK

[Oct. 28, 2015] Hong Kong’s justice secretary Rimsky Yuen ‘charm offensive’ in New York and Washington has conditions

[Oct 8, 2015] 2015 Annual Report of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC)

The actions of the Chinese and Hong Kong governments during the past year continue to raise concerns about the future of the freedoms, autonomy, and rule of law that distinguish Hong Kong from mainland China and underpin Hong Kong’s financial reputation and prosperity. Given the important economic interests the United States has in Hong Kong, and China’s international commitments to protect a “high degree of autonomy” in Hong Kong, the Commission’s report recommends that the Administration continue to issue annually the report outlined in Section 301 of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.  In addition, the report recommends that the Administration and Congress work together to determine whether to reconsider continuing separate treatment for Hong Kong, allowed under the Act, if elections for Hong Kong’s Chief Executive in 2017 are not conducted by universal suffrage according to international standards. 

[June 19] Hong Kong reform to feature in high-level US talks with Chinese officials–Washington to press officials on reform in city as well as tensions in South China

[May 3] United States congressmen to meet Leung Chun-ying in Hong Kong on 2017 reform planTreatment of American delegation is in stark contrast to snub given to British parliamentary panel, which was told it could not visit HK

Pro-Beijing legislator Ip Kwok-him says that the shadow of American interference is everywhere in the occupy movement. China’s media ask: “Why is America so obsessed with ‘Color Revolution’?”

Accusations of US interference in an anti-occupy video. This is what Michael Pillsbury, quoted in the above video, says: “China Tries to Blame US for Hong Kong Protests“. Surely, this petition to the White House must aim at inviting foreign interference…

The Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy? Here is NED’s statement. For over a month, “Obama publicly held his tongue“.

On Nov. 7, the Washington Post says in its editorial “Mr. Obama should speak up in support of Hong Kong protesters.” When attending APEC in Beijing, Obama first said that the HK issue was “complicated’” and that his priority was to avoid violence at Occupy protests. A more formal statement came at a joint press conference with Xi Jinping on Nov. 11:

on the issue of Hong Kong, which did come up in our conversations, I was unequivocal in saying to President Xi that the United States had no involvement in fostering the protests that took place there; that these are issues ultimately for the people of Hong Kong and the people of China to decide. But I did describe for him that the United States, as a matter of foreign policy but also a matter of our values, are going to consistently speak out on the right of people to express themselves, and encourage the elections that take place in Hong Kong are transparent and fair and reflective of the opinions of people there.

Xi Jinping welcomed a dialogue on human rights while insisting that HK is an internal issue:

On the question of human rights, … China stands ready to have dialogue with the United States on human rights issues on the basis of equality and mutual respect so that we can constructively handle our differences, deepen our mutual understanding, and learn from each other…

Congress is pushing Obama to do more, arguing that “conducting free and fair elections by universal suffrage is a guarantee that China itself made to Hong Kong.” Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Legislators Announces Bill to Support Hong Kong’s Freedom and Democracy

And here is a dialogue that Xi Jinping asks for: The Congressional-Executive Commission on China held a hearing on the future of democracy in HK on Nov. 20. The CECC was established by the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000 as China prepared to enter the World Trade Organization. Martin Lee was instrumental to US support of China’s accession to the WTO. See Congressional report. HK’s occupy supporters are overwhelmingly grateful to  Patten’s testimony. See also my testimony. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held another hearing “Evaluating the Impact of the ‘Umbrella Movement'” on December 3, 2014. Daniel R. Russel, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, testified.

At the same time, House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a subcommittee hearing on “Is Academic Freedom Threatened by China’s Influence on U.S. Universities?” on Dec. 4, 2014. Retired ambassador Stephen M. Young (US consul general to Hong Kong from 2010 to 2013) says that “World must hold Beijing accountable for its actions in Hong Kong“.

China’s betrayal of its promises becomes a U.S. political issue

US bill ties Hong Kong trade rights to democracy in bid to press China on 2017 elections

U.S. bill links Hong Kong economic privileges to autonomy:

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would update a 1992 law that has afforded Hong Kong trade and economic privileges not enjoyed by mainland China.

It would require the U.S. secretary of state to certify annually that Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous before enacting any new laws or agreements granting Hong Kong such different treatment. It would also allow the secretary to waive the certification on national security grounds.

Tung’s foundation and a new HK bill from the US Congress

HK diplomat seeks to deflect US lawmakers’ efforts to sanction city over democracy row

[May 9] Visiting US congressmen nudge Hong Kong lawmakers towards compromise on electoral reform:

Three visiting US congressmen yesterday discussed with Hong Kong’s lawmakers across the political divide the possibility of a compromise over electoral reform, with one suggesting that “moving forward, sometimes half a loaf is better than no loaf”.  However, the bipartisan delegation, who also met Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, stopped short of endorsing the reform plan for the 2017 leadership race. Making the call about moving forward, Matt Salmon, a Republican who chairs the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, also told leaders of the four pan-democratic parties that a system where “people are elected by the people” was better than one in which leaders were chosen via a narrow constituency.

[May 10]  High-level delegation denies any US role in Occupy protests

[Nov. 9, 2015] A US delegation, led by the Democratic Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi, met with a conglomeration of local lawmakers and politicians during the Hong Kong leg of their China trip. These included Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Liberal Party Honorary Chair James Tien, former Chief Secretary Anson Chan, Democratic Party founder Martin Lee, Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong, and co-founder of the pro-democracy Occupy protests Professor Benny Tai.

In an another area, China seeks US help: China Seeks More U.S. Help to Return Fugitive Corrupt Officials; China ramps up global manhunt for corrupt officials with operation ‘Skynet’

Joshua Wong is alleged to have a green card, yet the forgery makes mistakes on both the romanization of his name (Mandarin pinyin as opposed to Cantonese) and his birth year (1980 when he was born in 1996).


[July 29, 2015] Joshua Wong dismisses Xinhua article on alleged CIA links

Dan Garrett, who is now a student at the City University of Hong Kong and visiting protest sites, has attracted attention because he used to work for US intelligence agencies  (Western Observer Finds Himself a Player in Hong Kong’s Protest Drama ) And pastor Bob Kraft–with a sketch of him.



[Jul 24, 2015] Why is Ottawa still giving China a pass on human rights?

… for a government whose entire approach to foreign policy often seems driven by diaspora politics, the pusillanimous response to Beijing’s decapitation of Hong Kong’s democratic aspirations was astonishing. Many hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers have emigrated to Canada since the Second World War, and especially in the decade after the 1984 agreement between London and Beijing for the handover of sovereignty. Most of those immigrants came here because they didn’t trust Beijing — quite wisely, as it turned out. And many, armed with the security of their Canadian citizenship, have returned to Hong Kong to work. At any one time there are at least 300,000 and more likely 350,000 Canadians in Hong Kong. More than that, there are about 500,000 people among the city’s 7 million whom Canada would be legally obliged to evacuate in the event of a public emergency or disaster. How Beijing treats Hong Kong is not a topic for idle debate in a college library. What happens in Hong Kong is a matter of intense Canadian national interest.

[May 7] HK Federation of Students testified at the Parliament:  Fight for HK rights taken to Canada

Paul Dewar presents motion on Hong Kong 

House of Commons adopts NDP motion supporting democracy in Hong Kong:

That this House reiterates Canada’s continued support for freedom of expression and association in Hong Kong, including the right to peaceful protest; affirms Canada’s support for the democratic aspirations of Hong Kong residents for genuine universal suffrage in the election of political leaders; stands with the people of Hong Kong who aspire for democracy, peace and the protection of human rights; and calls on all sides to exercise restraint during demonstrations, fully respect existing agreements in respect to the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, and open a meaningful and constructive dialogue to seek a mutually acceptable plan for electoral reform.

China pushing Ottawa to rescind invite to pro-democracy leader Martin Lee. Is this interference in Canada’s internal affairs?

A letter from Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaojui said his government “learned” about plans to Lee to testify about political reform in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

“We hereby express our deep concern and strong opposition,” the envoy’s letter says.

“Hong Kong’s political development falls entirely within China’s domestic affairs. The Chinese side resolutely opposes any foreign governments, institutions and individuals to interfere in Hong Kong affairs,” he adds.

“In consideration of the sensitive and complicated situation in Hong Kong, we hope that the Canadian side will not hold such a hearing, not intervene in Hong Kong’s internal affairs in any form, so as not to send wrong signals to the outside world and cause any disturbance to China-Canada relations.”

中國圖阻李柱銘到加拿大國會作證 前駐華大使:加對港有特別感情:

David Mulroney, Canada’s ambassador to China until 2012, said Luo’s letter reflects “an incomplete understanding” of how Parliament works.

“The ambassador needs to be aware of Canadian history,” said Mulroney, the author of a new book on Canada-China relations.

“Canadians fought and died defending Hong Kong so we have a very special emotional connection — a blood connection to Hong Kong.”

Canada has a moral responsibility as a “friend of Hong Kong” to speak out on its behalf, he added. “So it’s actually incumbent on us to hear from people like Martin Lee.” 



The ‘foreign forces’ China fears the most is Taiwan? According to pro-establishment figure Regina Ip:

If “external influence” is identified as the chief driving force behind the protest, there is more than a germ of truth in that. The idea of “civil disobedience” – the subject of an essay by Henry Thoreau in the mid-19th century – came from the West. The idea of Occupy came from the US – it started with the Occupy Wall Street protest of 2011. The idea of civic nomination also came from the US. Taiwan’s electoral system, much admired by local, pro-democracy academics as more democratic than that of Hong Kong, permits “public” nomination of a presidential candidate. The provenance of the “public nomination” system in Taiwan is probably the US, given the pervasive US influence on the island. There is strong evidence that Hong Kong’s “umbrella movement” – the colour symbolism, the wording of the slogans and the mode of mobilisation – owes much to Taiwan’s student-led “sunflower” movement. The repeated attempts by students and rioters to occupy government headquarters and more recently the Legislative Council may well have been inspired by the “sunflower” movement’s occupation of the Legislative Yuan earlier this year…

If taking inspiration from external ideas and events is problematic, then I suppose that Ip wants to turn HK into a fortress? Parallels between the Sunflower Movement and the Umbrella Movement: In search of sunflower seeds in HK In the realm of ideas, it is difficult to say who copies whom. HK students had been baptized by the anti-high speed railway campaign in 2010 and the anti-national education campaign in 2012, i.e., before the sunflower movement. The first HK version of “Do you hear the people sing” was started in HK before Taiwan. If one looks hard enough, it is easy to find echoes of HK in the Sunflower movement too. See Eurasian movement.

As of Nov. 29, the Umbrella Movement has interfered with Taiwan’s elections: Occupy Central helped Dr Ko Wen-je win Taipei ballot, campaign chief says

The Occupy movement might have stimulated anti-Beijing sentiments among Taiwanese voters because they were now more aware of the mainland’s hardline approach towards democracy campaigns in Hong Kong, she added. ” Fears that tomorrow’s Taiwan will be like today’s Hong Kong may have cost the Ma government many votes.”


International NGOs

This BBC story would seem to confirm CY’s theory: “Hong Kong protests: Activists share secrets at Oslo Freedom Forum.” Apparently, the BBC reporter covered the Oslo story on TV and then connected the Oslo conference to HK in this print story, giving the impression that HK activists were secretly trained at Oslo. CCTV and China Daily quickly developed a colorful story. Interesting that Tsang Yok-sing, the Legislative Council president and a pro-Beijing legislator says that he has seen no sign of “external forces” in the movement. Regarding the BBC story, he shares my skepticism:


OCLP clarifies:

Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP) wishes to clarify inaccuracies in a story published about the Oslo Freedom Forum by the British Broadcasting Corporation on October 21st. The three initiators of OCLP have never been in contact with Yang Jianli, let alone speak to him frequently or receive advice from him “on an almost hourly basis”. Neither has OCLP been in contact with or even know Jamila Raqib and Serdia Popovic, who are mentioned in the report. OCLP’s members have not attended the Oslo Freedom Forum or received any specific training from the organisations mentioned in the article. OCLP has openly held “non-violent protest” workshops in Hong Kong but these were wholly organized by OCLP, without any support or intervention from foreign organisations. The claims made in a local radio news item, based on the BBC report, that the trainings took part in Oslo are simply untrue.

The BBC story added a disclaimer on Oct. 26, but without printing the OC’s full response. Yang Jianli complained to the reporter who then confirmed that he never said that he was personally involved. But this clarification is not reflected in the story. Thus, Tsang Yok-sing criticizes Yang’s interference:


I wonder what HK students Yang has been talking to. For those who have been watching the Umbrella Movement, it is clear that HK students hardly care about what Tiananmen dissidents think and reject any connection to Tiananmen. [Oct. 29] Scholarism’s statement:

Regarding to an interview on Jianili [sic] Yang which was released in the article “Hong Kong protests: Activists share secrets at Oslo Freedom Forum” (21 Oct) by BBC, Jianili Yang “has been talking to the Hong Kong students on a daily basis”. We hereby would like to clarify that all members of Scholarism, including Joshua Wong, have not been having any regular contact with Jianili Yang. We would also want to restate that our own critical thinking makes all of our decisions regarding to the movement, there is never a person who can lead our independent mind. Scholarism 29th October 2014

Based on the exchange between Yang and the reporter on Sat. Oct 26, and given that there was no correction of at least the claim of Yang talking to HK students “on a daily basis,” I began to wonder if the story correctly represented Popovic and Raqib. Over the past weekend [Oct. 25-26], I looked around for their contacts and received the following replies. Jamila Raqib:

I did not say that I or the Albert Einstein Institution had “trained” any member of the OCLP. In fact I said nothing in the interview with the BBC team about any connection between the Albert Einstein Institution and any member of the OCLP. What I said, and what I had expected to be conveyed by the report was that my observation of the developements in HK indicates a high level of advance preparation and planning by movement leaders and that advance preparation and planning is key to increased effectiveness in the application of nonviolent struggle. It is the same idea that I have expressed a number of times since I have learned about the OCLP and its approach, including in this article that I co-wrote: “Hong Kong’s ‘Occupy.'”

Srdja Popovic:

I have never met with Yang Jianli, never worked with HK activists or stated anything like this to BBC or any other media outlet.

My letter to the BBC:

I am sorry to see that you only added a disclaimer in a tone that suggests that the story is correct and that the OCLP people are making a false denial. … I think you owe a clarification that there are no connections between the Oslo conference and HK.  In addition, it would be prudent to print the OCLP’s reply in their own words, rather than using a tone that perpetuates the false impression. Your characterization that some local media exaggerate the connections is very misleading. I must say that I personally understood the story this way from my first reading. Everyone understood the story as saying that Yang, Raqib, and Popovic have been training HK activists for sometime. … It was only after reading the story over and over that I figured out how the report was creating a false impression. First, look at the headline: “Hong Kong protests: Activists share secrets at Oslo Freedom Forum” How could any reader not draw the connections? Don’t blame local media or the reader. Please read Yang Jianli’s complaint to the reporter and her reply. In her reply, she says “on a regular basis.” Somehow she says “on a daily basis” in the story. “Regular” could mean daily or annually, why did she say “daily”? And why no correction? And most readers would presume that “Chinese dissidents” attending Oslo include HK activists as well as Yang. You should specify if HK activists were present or not. If not, say “mainland Chinese dissidents.” By the way, using the plural means that there were others beyond Yang. Is that accurate? It is also curious what kind of students Yang has been contacting on a regular basis. FYI, HK people — in particular the students — really care less what Tiananmen dissidents think. They are fighting for HK’s autonomy… And then this: “Jamila Raqib, the executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution in New York, a human rights organisation, says: “Protesters were taught how to behave during a protest.” The only natural conclusion is that Jamila was involved in training HK protestors. It is no defense to say that “HK” is not in the quote. Words have meanings only in the context. This is how the story presents itself, and how the headline leads people to think. Popovic talks about general rules rather than HK. Again, in the context of the headline and Yang and Raqib, everyone would think that he has been involved too. I certainly had this impression from my initial reading… To avoid making the false connections, the story could have easily added something like: While JR and SP never offered training to HK activists, they are impressed that HK activists are doing all the right things. If no HK activists were present, the story should have made that clear too. It doesn’t help that the story misspells Yang’s and Popovic’s names. Did anyone do fact checking for this story? How could the BBC be so irresponsible? If the connections had been correct, it is not the job of the journalist to worry about consequences. But the problem is that your story made the false connections and such connections have disastrous consequences for the HK movement.

[Update on Oct. 30] The story is now revised with this note:

30 October: Correction This article has been amended after an earlier version may have given the impression that the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests were planned by foreign activists. The amended version makes clear that the planning for the Hong Kong demonstrations was carried out in Hong Kong, with support from abroad. It includes a statement from Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP), saying that none of its members had attended the Oslo Freedom Forum or received “any specific training” from the organisations mentioned in this report. The amended article also makes clear that Mr Popovic has not had any involvement with the Hong Kong protests.

So what “support from abroad”?

“BBC Newsnight has been told that some leading protestors received advice and materials from Western activists to help them train as many as 1,000 of those who would later be involved in the demonstrations.”

What advice? What materials? Whatever such advice and materials involve, if receiving advice and materials is tantamount to “support from abroad,” then the HK government, the business sector, and civil society have always sought and received “support from abroad”. And Yang Jianli “has been talking to the Hong Kong students on a daily basis”? If even HK’s own pan-democrats are sidelined in the current movement, it remains dubious what HK students Yang has been talking to on a “daily basis.” Moreover, there is no explanation for why “regular” means “daily” in this story. [Oct. 30] A group of HK protestors started this signature campaign at, requesting the BBC to “immediately withdraw its inaccurate report“.

[Nov. 1] OCLP urges BBC to retract misleading report:

We note and appreciate that edits and corrections have been made to the original story. However, we believe the reports (print and video) are still inaccurate in a number of ways: 1. Without saying so directly, the story still implies OCLP was planned and organized with outside “support”, without clarity on whether this means sharing a training handbook (easily downloaded online), large-scale funding, or anything in between. 2. The report says that “far from being impromptu demonstrations, it is an open secret at this meeting in Norway that plans were hatched in Hong Kong for the demonstrations nearly two years ago.” Actually, the fact that OCLP has been planned for nearly two years is not and never was an “open secret”. It is public knowledge. 3. The report says Yang Jianli “has been talking to the Hong Kong students on a daily basis.” We do not know with whom he has been communicating, but as we have previously stated, we have not been in touch with him. There are thousands of students on the street in Hong Kong, and the fact that Mr Yang may be talking to some of them is in fact irrelevant to your story’s claims. We also note the video report filed by Ms Kuenssberg remains online and unchanged, though it is riddled with inaccuracies. It should be removed as soon as possible. The BBC has said it stands by the story, despite these inaccuracies. This is disingenuous and leaves the story muddled, misleading and open to misinterpretation. The corporation has failed to adequately address the specific concerns raised by viewers, experienced journalists and scholars around the world. In fact more than 1300 people from around the world have signed a petition asking the BBC to retract the story. We believe this would be the right thing to do.

From a London-based analyst: The BBC has a formal complaints procedure, which can be purused all the way up to the BBC Trust, the governing body. See also China Digital Times The BBC line is curiously consistent with pro-establishment figure Regina Ip’s position. If taking inspiration from external ideas and events means foreign interference, then I suppose that Ip wants to turn HK into a fortress?


Comments on CY by Hong Kong-based David Webb:

The US Government partly funds the National Endowment for Democracy and the US and many other governments partly fund the National Democratic Institute. The European Endowment for Democracy is funded by the European Union and many member states. Other support for democracy comes from individual philanthropy such as George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, and yes, from sometimes covert sources to avoid the very attacks we are talking about. These organisations in turn are fully entitled to support those who agree with their views. China is, similarly, fully entitled to advance its world view through its overseas media channels, by funding overseas NGOs, or whatever methods it chooses, as long as it complies with local laws. So if it wants to establish or fund NGOs which advocate a one-party state and abolition of civic freedoms in the USA or EU, then it is perfectly entitled to do so. We don’t think these ideas would gain much traction though, and ironically China would only be able to make its case because the USA and EU have those civic freedoms which China lacks. Closer to home, it is an open secret that pro-Beijing business people have long-financed the best-funded party in HK, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of HK. We published their latest accounts yesterday. They even hold dinners where they pay silly prices for autographs by senior mainland officials here. That’s a win-win proposition – make the officials feel good about their brushwork while pouring money into the party coffers and gaining some goodwill. That’s all fine with us – but when a pro-democracy business person donates to pro-democracy parties, then he gets accused of corrupting politicians and is publicly visited by the ICAC.

It seems that China has been doing what Webb suggests, mobilizing “foreign interference” by Chinese-language newspapers around the world: In Coordinated Effort, Chinese-Language Newspapers Condemn Hong Kong Protests.

泰国 《 泰华网综合资讯 》, 日本《中日新报》,美国《美中信使报》,澳大利亚华厦传媒集团,委内瑞拉《委国侨报》,美国《芝加哥华语论坛》,美国《中美邮报》,美国纽约商务传媒集 团,美国世界华文出版社,日本《中文导报》,日本《半月文摘》,日本《中国悠悠》杂志,加拿大《环球华报》,加拿大《星星周刊》,美国《新闻周刊》,美国 美南电视报业集团,菲律宾《国际日报》,香港《中国网视台》,肯尼亚《中非经贸报》,意大利《欧洲华人报》,意大利欧联传媒集团,意大利欧联通讯社,意大 利《欧联时报》,意大利《欧联网》,美国《美新侨报》,美国《南美新闻网》,美国《拉斯维加斯时报》,匈牙利《联合报》,美国《美华商报》,美国《大底特 律时报》,阿根延《新大陆周刊》,乌克兰《乌克兰华商报》,《新西兰联合报》,加拿大《健康时报》,澳大利亚《新市场报》,加拿大《枫华之声》,加拿大 《健康报》,意大利《欧洲商旅报》,芝加哥《神洲时报》,瑞典《北欧时报》,印尼《国际日报》,波兰《环球周报》,毛里求斯《华声报》,澳大利亚《大华时 报》,韩国《新华报》,缅甸《缅华网》,《英国侨报》,《澳洲日报》,美国北卡州《华星报》 ,委内瑞拉《南美新知》杂志社,《达拉斯新闻》,新西兰中华新闻通讯社,新西兰《信报》,俄罗斯《龙报》,俄罗斯《捷通日报》,泰国《泰亚新闻网》,葡萄 牙《葡华报》,柬埔寨《柬华日报》,美国纽约海外电视台,中欧《华商报》,捷克《华商报》,意大利欧洲华人电视传媒集团,希腊《中希时报》,欧洲《新侨 网》、西非《华声报》,瑞典《北欧华人报》,《坦桑尼亚华人论坛》,德国《欧洲新报》,南非《华商报》,英国《英中时报》,肯尼亚《华声报》,非洲《环球 邮报》,委内瑞拉《南美新侨报》,委内瑞拉《委华报》,秘鲁《新视野》,巴西《南美侨报》,新西兰《TV33 华人电视台》,新西兰《中文先驱报》,《澳大利亚时报》,全澳华语广播电台,澳大利亚《新市场报》,澳大利亚《澳洲日报》,澳大利亚《墨尔本日报》,澳大 利亚大洋传媒集团,加拿大《多伦多网上电视》,加拿大《中文电视台节目》,加拿大《加华新闻》,加拿大《加中时报》,加拿大新时代传媒集团,美国《美中报 导》,美国《密城时报》,美国《华兴报》,美国《美洲商报》,美国《拉斯韦加斯新闻报》,美国《亚省时报》,美国《华商报》,美国《彼岸》杂志,美国《中 外论坛》杂志,美国《华盛顿华文邮报》,美国《华盛顿观察》,《澳门商报》,《澳门月刊》,菲律宾《联合日报》,美国《科州华报》,加拿大《今日中国文汇 报》,《南美新知》杂志社,《南美新知》新闻网,《华盛顿新闻报》,澳大利亚《澳华国际传媒》,新西兰《中国城网》,美国《密城时报》,菲律宾《华商纵 横》,加拿大《加中时报》,柬埔寨《柬华日报》,南非《华侨新闻报》,加拿大《七天新闻》,美国《红杉林杂志》,加拿大中国国际教育电视台,加拿大《华侨 報》,加拿大《大华商报》,瑞典《欧华天下杂志社》,阿联酋《中东侨报》,加拿大《世界华人周刊》,美国《国际日报》,澳门《中葡经贸导报》,《西班牙联 合报 》,泰国《东盟商界》杂志社,埃及《中国周报》,匈牙利《布达佩斯时报》,法国《侨报》,爱尔兰《新岛传媒集团 》,《新岛周报》,德囯《欧洲新侨网》,马来西亚《亚洲时报》,尼日利亚《西非统一商报》,《西非华人在线》南非《华侨新闻报》,意大利《世界中国》杂 志,荷兰《联合时报》,英国《华商报》。


More “support from abroad” for HK and Chinese officials?

Australian payout to CY? British weapons to the HK police? Singaporean training on stability maintenance? Australian PM Abbott Praises Xi’s ‘Commitment to Democracy’ Protestors point to the huge payout of HK$50m CY took from an Australian firm UGL CY Leung sought an extra HK$37 million from UGL

Hong Kong has spent billions on buying weapons from Britain


Singapore National University just offered a training workshop on stability maintenance to Guangdong officials

. 10675763_10152402915701034_2404002445073452501_n 10704165_10152402915746034_2844716323653133928_n

CY Leung is copying Lee Kuan-yew’s model of rule by law?

[Nov. 8] Singapore’s opposition politician Chee Son Juan said that both Singapore and HK need greater democratization.

Also Kenny G! Kenny G’s visit to Occupy Admiralty on Oct. 22 made a splash in HK. Protestors joked that there was finally evidence for foreign interference. Beijing spokeswoman warned foreigners against interference in the afternoon. Kenny G quickly disavowed any support for the Umbrella Movement, declaring that he really loved China.

In contrast, Common expressed solidarity for HK in the Oscar acceptance speech:

“The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the South Side of Chicago, dreaming of a better life, to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression, to those in Hong Kong, protesting for democracy. This bridge was built on hope, welded with compassion and elevated by love for all human beings.”

See Oscar shout-out for HK Occupy protests wins Twitter kudos , From China, Love and Hate for Common’s Oscar Speech, John Legend and Common’s Oscars Speech Is Even More Powerful Than Their Performance.



More seriously, there has been an outpouring of international support:

10671395_595994757194842_5809471445631808143_n 10382853_525721437565054_722988675206260487_n  10538448_10102401334089094_4826131613086462867_n 10857959_1474067009536121_6066174985378350847_n 1099354

Not to mention the extensive, at times blanket, coverage of the Umbrella Movement in the international media. HK has always been the regional headquarters for various international media. More recently, HK has paradoxically benefited from China’s denial of visa to a growing list of international journalists. Knowledge of both China and HK has contributed to stories like “Beijing Is Directing Hong Kong Strategy, Government Insiders Say.”  Moreover, when the police fired tear gas at protestors on Sep. 28, international journalists were on scene to cover the story live. But if international media are guilty of interfering in HK, then CY is also guilty of actively inviting foreign interference. He chose to speak to the international media — and NYT, FT, and WSJ of all possible options — rather than local media when he wanted to explain why genuine universal suffrage would produce policies “skewed toward the poor.” CY Leung probably forgot that Beijing didn’t like the NYT. China Daily complained that the NYT should review biased China coverage. Xi Jinping, in particular, didn’t like a NYT story about his family’s wealthNYT was openly shunned by Xi Jinping at the joint press conference with Obama at APEC.

RTHK The Pulse, Umbrella Movement Through the Eyes of Foreigners Ben Hedges explains the Umbrella Movement in Mandarin.



It is worth noting that China has a long record of standing on the side of the egg against high walls, borrowing the language of Murakami:

In February 2009, Murakami accepted the Jerusalem Prize despite calls to boycott it in the wake of Israel’s large-scale offensive in Gaza. Speaking in Jerusalem, he compared walls to authoritarian systems and military might and eggs thrown against the walls to individual lives, concluding that he “will always stand on the side of the egg.” (SCMP)

China has long supported Palestine:

China was one of the first countries supporting the Palestinian national liberation movement and to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization as a legitimate government… China started to maintain a friendship with Palestine in the 1960s. (China’s friendship with Palestine deeply rooted in sense of justice) “It is difficult to estimate the extent of Chinese military training given the Palestinians, both in China itself (mainly at the Whampoa Military Academy) and by Chinese instructors in Syria, Algeria and perhaps Jordan… Shuqairy said publicly in Gaza on May 20, 1966 that arms and training were being continually supplied by Peking… Israeli sources claimed other Chinese arms were stockpiled in Gaza and Sinai by the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) before the war of 1967. The Israeli military command announced on June 25, 1967 that it had found at Gaza and el-Arish “a large quantity of Chinese arms including anti-tank and anti-vehicle artillery, decontamination chemicals and carloads of poison gas.” (John K Cooley, Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. 1, No. 2 (Winter, 1972), pp. 19-34)

Nelson Mandela was very grateful to China’s support:

I was convinced, despite my reprimand from the executive, that the policies of the Nationalists would soon make nonviolence an even more limited and ineffective policy. Walter was privy to my thoughts and before he left, I made a suggestion: he should arrange to visit the People’s Republic of China and discuss with them the possibility of supplying us with weapons for an armed struggle. (Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, p. 111) “Mandela was an old friend of the Chinese Communist Party, not a friend of the Chinese people,” one overseas Chinese human-rights activist says. Upon meeting him in Oslo in 1991, the activist asked Mr Mandela to speak up for Chinese dissidents. Mr Mandela explained that while the West ignored him until his success was all but certain, China’s Communist leaders had supported him financially and morally from the very beginning. Therefore, he was not about to work against them. (Nelson Mandela and China: A controversial legacy) 10630646_666045050175428_754157559986483483_o

Che Guevara’s adventure in the Congo involved assisting a Chinese-backed revolutionary faction. See Jon Lee Anderson’s Che Guevara, ch. 27 “The Story of A Failure.” Despite Cuba’s ideological affinity with China, Fidel Castro in Feb. 1966 aired “a list of grievances against China, accusing the Chinese of trying to meddle in Cuba’s politics and seeking to use rice as a bludgeon to secure political obeisance.” (Anderson, p. 644) When Che’s Argentine lieutenant, Ciro Bustos, visited Beijing, he was offered unspecified material and financial support in return for publicly denouncing Fidel Castro. Bustos refused. (Anderson, p. 657)

China’s support of the Khmer Rouge : China Is Urged to Confront Its Own History,  Brothers in Arms: Chinese Aid to the Khmer Rouge, 1975-1979

Andrew Mertha, author of “Brothers in Arms: China’s Aid to the Khmer Rouge, 1975-1979,” said … China provided at least 90 percent of the foreign aid given to the Khmer Rouge, from food and construction equipment to tanks, planes and artillery. Even as the government was massacring its own people, Chinese engineers and military advisers continued to train their Communist ally. “Without China’s assistance, the Khmer Rouge regime would not have lasted a week,” he said.

In 2010, the Chinese ambassador to Cambodia, Zhang Jinfeng, offered a rare official acknowledgment of China’s support of the Khmer Rouge, but said that Beijing donated only “food, hoes and scythes.”

Citing records and testimony from former Khmer Rouge officials, Youk Chhang, a survivor of the genocide and executive director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, disagreed. “Chinese advisers were there with the prison guards and all the way to the top leader,” Mr. Youk said. “China has never admitted or apologized for this.”

China’s support of ethnic insurgencies in Burma is more recent and still ongoing:

In a December [2013] report, IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review says China last year provided the Wa with advanced weapons to build up their defenses. The transfers included surface to air missiles and, for the first time, at least 12 armored vehicles the report refers to as “tank destroyers.”… The Wa are Burma’s largest rebel group, estimated at up to 30,000 full and part-time fighters… military analysts say China has long been the largest supplier of weapons to the Wa, albeit unofficially. (China Quietly Supports Wa Rebels)

Far from its oft-touted policy of noninterference, Beijing’s business interests in northern Myanmar, particularly in Kachin-dominant areas, have directly contributed to war and a cascade of abuse. The Myanmar Army and its businesses have been all too willing to cooperate. (How China Fuels Myanmar’s Wars)

Today, it’s a different world in Kokang…  So where did all the money come from? Drugs, of course, are one major source of income—opium, its derivative heroin and also synthetically produced methamphetamines. But also guns from China, smuggled across northern Myanmar to northeastern India, a hotbed of local, ethnic insurgencies where there is a huge demand for any kind of military hardware. (Kokang: The Backstory)

illegitimate commercial activities conducted by Chinese companies in northern Myanmar—including illegal mining, logging and smuggling conducted under the noses of local officials—help to finance local militias. These illicit ventures are sources of conflict with locals. And they are at the root of Burmese accusations that China is supporting and arming the separatists.  (Myanmar and China: The Han that rock the cradle)

India complains about “Insurgency in Northeast India: The Chinese Link“:

official Chinese arms manufacturing companies regularly sell small arms (man-portable lethal weapons like AK series rifles, light and sub-machine guns, grenades etc) to insurgents in Northeast India. China, in fact, holds the key to the availability of weapons and ammunition among the [insurgent] groups in Northeast India …

The main conduits … are the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). These two ethnic insurgent groups have acted as the interlocking chain for the illegal weapons flow from Yunnan in China via Myanmar to Northeast India, but the most effective illegal weapons trader in Myanmar is another armed ethnic group, the United Wa State Army (UWSA). The UWSA is the military wing of the United Wa State Party (UWSP) founded in 1989 with members of the Wa National Council (WNC), which represent the Wa ethnic group and former members of the Communist Party of Burma (CPB). The UWSA’s biggest source of revenue is its involvement in the illegal small arms network across South and Southeast Asia. It manufactures Chinese weapons with an “informal franchise” procured from Chinese ordnance factories. The main motive is to sell these weapons for huge profit to armed groups in Northeast India.


Filed under Umbrella Movement

11 responses to “Foreign/external forces at work in Hong Kong

  1. Jacky

    Very nice work, only one thing. Tsang Yok-Sing was never in prison as far as I know. It was his brother, Tsang Tak-Sing, current Secretary for Home Affairs, that was in jail.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. F.

    Good compendium, but you’ve omitted the funniest of them all- Joshua Wong’s tweet from October 19th:
    “CY Leung believes that the Occupy movement has been subject to foreign intervention. I don’t know if he thinks I personally have been subject to foreign intervention but, in brief, here’s how I’ve been influenced by foreign forces:
    Korean cell phone
    American computer
    Japanese [anime series] Gundam

    Of course, they’re all Made In China :o)”


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