Are Hong Kong demonstrations spontaneous or foreign financed?

After the US and Europe supported and financed demonstrations in Ukraine, one wonders if some of the US interest – and funding for “promoting democracy” – is now directed at China and its extremities.

Certainly in 2012, US government or government supported institutions spent quite a lot of money for promoting “democracy” in Hong Kong. The National Endowment for Democracy reports for 2012:

China (Hong Kong)

American Center for International Labor Solidarity
To continue to advance worker rights by building the capacity of democratic trade unions in Hong Kong. The Solidarity Center will work with its partners to advocate for collective bargaining rights, utilize local and international mechanisms to improve working conditions, and promote understanding of worker rights abuses and developments in China among the international labor movement and human rights community.

Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor
To raise the standards of human rights protection and democratic representation in Hong Kong. The Monitor will carry out human rights monitoring, casework, campaigning, and public education drawing local and international attention to civil rights and human rights developments in Hong Kong.

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
To foster awareness regarding Hong Kong’s political institutions and constitutional reform process and to develop the capacity of citizens – particularly university students – to more effectively participate in the public debate on political reform, NDI will work with civil society organizations on parliamentary monitoring, a survey, and development of an Internet portal, allowing students and citizens to explore possible reforms leading to universal suffrage.

Grant descriptions are from the 2012 NED Annual Report.

The numbers for 2013 are not yet out but were probably over $1 Million compared to the c. $750,000 in 2012. It would have risen further in 2014.

The NED is said to be private but is funded by the US Congress.

The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs “is an organization created by the United States government by way of the National Endowment for Democracy to channel grants for furthering democracy in developing nations”- Wikipedia

The American Center for International Labor Solidarity better known as the Solidarity Centeris a non-profit organization affiliated with the AFL-CIO labor federation that serves as a conduit for US foreign aid.

The Hong Kong demonstrations may well have been spontaneous to some extent but they were also certainly not free of external support and funding and instigation. Clearly some substantial funds came through various US channels.

And I would not be at all surprised to learn that some EU and even some Japanese funds have been channeled into Hong Kong. But I am not so sure that using mob action to instigate change always leads to a promotion of democracy. A mob cannot be equated to being representative of the “will of the people”.


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