21.06.2018 Author: Tony Cartalucci

Hong Kong’s Paradoxical “Independence” Movement


Prominent Hong Kong opposition leader Edward Leung was sentenced to 6 years in prison for assaulting police and his role in leading riots in 2016.

The Guardian in its article “Hong Kong jails independence leader Edward Leung for six years,” would report:

Hong Kong’s leading independence activist has been jailed for six years for his involvement in some of the city’s worst protest violence for decades.

Edward Leung was convicted in May of rioting over the 2016 running battles with police, when demonstrators hurled bricks torn up from pavements and set rubbish alight in the commercial district of Mong Kok.

Western pundits decried the jail sentence as the breakdown of the “rule of law” in Hong Kong. Yet the riots were violent and destructive, and most certainly against the law. For Hong Kong not to jail Leung for his role in criminal activity would constitute an actual breakdown of the rule of law. 

Edward Leung had been serving as spokesman and by-election candidate for the Hong Kong Indigenous political group. The group seeks the unrealistic goal of stopping influence from mainland China as part of a wider Western-sponsored political movement to maintain Hong Kong as a pressure point vis-a-vis Beijing.

The movement also attempts to hold Beijing to the parting demands made by British occupiers in 1997 including the “One Country, Two Systems” principle which serves as the legal framework Western-sponsored agitators use to justify their activities and notions of “independence.”

Hong Kong “Independence” = Dependence on Washington  

And while the Hong Kong “independence movement” claims to represent the “indigenous” people of Hong Kong and its autonomy – it is in reality a creation of Washington and in no way represents the people of Hong Kong or the concept of “independence” in any way.

Other groups among Hong Kong’s opposition have already been exposed as US-sponsored agitators. This includes the entire core leadership of the 2014 so-called “Occupy Central” protests, also known as the “Umbrella Revolution.”
The Western media has attempted to dismiss this. The New York Times in an article titled, “Some Chinese Leaders Claim U.S. and Britain Are Behind Hong Kong Protests,” would claim:

Protest leaders said they had not received any funding from the United States government or nonprofit groups affiliated with it. Chinese officials choose to blame hidden foreign forces, they argued, in part because they find it difficult to accept that so many ordinary people in Hong Kong want democracy.

Yet what the protest leaders claim, and what is documented fact are two different things. Accusations of US interference are based on evidence – some of which recipients of US funding have attempted to erase or hide. But even the New York Times article itself admits that:

…the National Endowment for Democracy, a nonprofit directly supported by Washington, distributed $755,000 in grants in Hong Kong in 2012, and an additional $695,000 last year, to encourage the development of democratic institutions. Some of that money was earmarked “to develop the capacity of citizens — particularly university students — to more effectively participate in the public debate on political reform.”

While the New York Times and Hong Kong opposition deny this funding has gone to protesters specifically, annual reports from organizations opposition members belong to reveal that it has.

“Occupy Central” leaders and organizations receiving US support include:

Benny Tai: a law professor at the University of Hong Kong and a regular collaborator with the US NED and NDI-funded Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL) also of the University of Hong Kong.

In the CCPL’s 2006-2007 annual report, (PDF, since deleted) 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, since deleted), NED subsidiary, the National Democratic Institute (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.”

In CCPL’s annual report for 2013-2014 (PDF, since deleted), Tai is not listed as a board member but 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.

Joshua Wong: “Occupy Central” leader and secretary general of the “Demosisto” party. While Wong and other have attempted to deny any links to Washington, Wong would literally travel to Washington once the protests concluded to pick up an award for his efforts from NED subsidiary, Freedom House.

Audrey Eu Yuet-mee: the Civic Party chairwoman, who 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.

Martin Lee: a senior leader of the Occupy Central movement. Lee organized and physically led protest marches. He also regularly delivered speeches according to the South China Morning Post.  But before leading the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong, he and Anson Chan were in Washington D.C. before the NED soliciting US assistance (video).

During a talk in Washington titled, “Why Democracy in Hong Kong Matters,” Lee and Chan would lay out the entire “Occupy Central” narrative about independence from Beijing and a desire for self-governance before an American audience representing a foreign government Lee, Chan, and their entire opposition are ironically very much dependent on. NED would eventually release a statement claiming that it has never aided Lee or Chan, nor were Lee or Chan leaders of the “Occupy Central” movement.

But by 2015, after “Occupy Central” was over, NED subsidiary Freedom House would not only invite Benny Tai and Joshua Wong to Washington, but also Martin Lee in an event acknowledging the three as “Hong Kong democracy leaders.”  All three would take to the stage with their signature yellow umbrellas, representing their roles in the “Occupy Central” protests, and of course – exposing NED’s lie denying Lee’s leadership role in the protests.  Additionally, multiple leaked US diplomatic cables (herehere, and here) indicate that Martin Lee has been in close contact with the US government for years, and regularly asked for and received various forms of aid.

Interestingly enough, much of the evidence was first exposed by independent bloggers. Evidence that was picked up by larger media networks was admitted to. Other evidence that was not, has since been deleted. One wonders if the evidence had not contradicted denials by “Occupy Central” leaders regarding US funding, why would they have systematically deleted entire webpages and even annual reports from the Internet.

In terms of foreign ties, Edward Leung is no exception. He and his associates have also been implicated with maintaining inappropriate relations with the US government.

Edward Leung and other “Independents” Caught Meeting US Diplomats 

In one South China Morning Post article titled, “‘Not some kind of secret meeting’: Hong Kong Indigenous leaders meet with American diplomats,” the Post, Edward Leung and fellow “Hong Kong Indigenous” member Ray Wong would attempt to explain why they were caught secretly meeting with the US consulate in Hong Kong.

The article would claim:

The photos, published by news website Bastille Post on Wednesday night, showed three members of the group – including Edward Leung Tin-kei and Ray Wong Toi-yeung – meeting two consulate staffers. The quintet reportedly chatted for around an hour and a half, speaking in Putonghua at times, before going their separate ways.

Some mainland media and Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying have both claimed that there were foreign forces behind the city’s pro-democracy protests of 2014.

And of course, foreign forces – specifically Washington – is confirmed to have been funding and backing virtually every aspect of the 2014 protests.

Ray Wong would claim:

I think it’s perfectly normal to meet with consulates of different countries. I know it is a practice for consulates of different countries to meet and communicate with civil organizers and politicians. Our meeting with the US consulate was not private. It took place at a rather public setting.

In the past, for them to understand localists and us, they did it through foreign media and (other) media. But most of the media have established views, or are bias in order to create news value. I guess the most direct way is for us to tell them our beliefs and stances. 

When asked if he had been approached by other consulates apart from the US, he replied while laughing:

Yes, but I cannot discuss that. 

Virtually every comment Ray Wong made was untrue. Had photos of his and Edward Leung’s meeting not been leaked online, he and the rest of Hong Kong Indigenous would have categorically denied any ties or meetings with the US government – just as many other Occupy Central groups have attempted to do.

It is also unlikely that Leung and Wong were simply informing the US of their “beliefs and stances” since the US has been underwriting their movement and the rest of Occupy Central for years now. What would Leung and Wong have told the US consulate that Martin Lee and Anson Chan hadn’t already told representatives of the US government during their over one-hour talk in front of the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington D.C. in 2014? Or during numerous other meetings stretching back for years and documented within Wikileak’s archive of US diplomatic cables?

Ray Wong’s final answer about not being able to discuss other meetings with foreign consulates speaks for itself – indicating impropriety that only additional documentation and evidence will be able to force an acknowledgement of – along with excuses – regarding an “independence” movement apparently and completely dependent on Washington.

As Beijing dismantled and diminishes this foreign-funded network in Hong Kong, it is important to not only keep the above facts in mind, but keep them in mind in regards to the intentional and repetitious lies told by the Western media to portray individuals like Edward Leung and organizations like Hong Kong Indigenous as “pro-democracy” rather than the US proxies they truly are.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.