As spying turns digital, Tony Kwok notes agents back subversion rather than data collection, explaining logistical support for organizers of ‘Occupy Central’ movement
The arrest last month of a former United States’ Central Intelligence Agency agent Jerry Lee Chun-shing, who had been living in Hong Kong, is an eye-opener for Hong Kong people. But those in the know take it all in their stride because Hong Kong, for historical reasons and being on the doorstep of the Chinese mainland, has always been an espionage hotbed. News reports said Lee was arrested in New York after flying in from Hong Kong for allegedly disclosing confidential information on spies on the mainland, resulting in the central government neutralizing 18 to 20 of them.
This merely confirms a long-suspected US espionage network in the country. But the latest revelation can hardly establish the extent of this network, as agent control is strictly need-to-know; Lee surely would not know the whole picture. As for their mission, it is safe to assume they would not be limited to collecting intelligence — experts believe technology is now better at this than human agents. Instead, agents are more likely to be inciting local people to conduct subversive activities, and to give them financial or material support while they manipulate out of sight. One should not be surprised to find them hiding behind the so-called human-rights activists. This also explains why many activists ended up in the US. As with the Arab Spring, their ultimate goal is to topple the government. There is no reason to suspect this modus operandi would not apply in Hong Kong, particularly since the police special branch was dismantled before the return of sovereignty, making the city a spy haven.
A group of US congressmen nominating Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Alex Chow Yong-kang for the Nobel Peace Prize over their role in the illegal “Occupy Central” movement should be viewed from the perspective of this long history of American foreign interference, often with regime change as their covert objective, in South America and elsewhere, always with disastrous consequences for the local populace.
It would be naive to believe these three young men have the resources and expertise to organize, lead and sustain such a massive and complex protest movement over 79 days without extensive logistical support and strategic guidance from sources experienced in such operations; Wong admitted he does not even know how to fold a blanket! An Oct 2014 BBC documentary on Oslo Freedom Forum, a training center for activists, revealed the “Occupy” organizers had been planning the operation two years before and received training overseas. Training included how to keep the crowd in situ by looking after them, how to speak to police, defend against water cannon and react to police arrests. It’s practically a course on subverting government. The documentary also showed Wong talking to Yang Jianli, a former mainland activist now living in the US. Yang admitted they communicated on an hourly basis during “Occupy”. At its peak, participants had an unlimited supply of free meals, water, tents, blankets, counter-police riot gear and other essentials to make camping on public spaces more bearable. Organizers have so far been unable to publish a proper audit of their movement despite promises to do so. Did the CIA orchestrate from behind? Many would think so. It should be noted that at least one of those student activists has a US passport.
Then there are scandals of our politicians receiving secret funds at around that time. They were not prosecuted because of a lack of sufficient evidence but their source is so dubious that it can only be rationally speculated as from the US.
In their Nobel nomination, the congressmen highlight the subsequent jailing of the trio for “Occupy” involvement. But they conveniently neglected to mention that they were jailed not for their so-called “peaceful” demonstration but for their incitement to use violence which resulted in injuries to several security guards. I wonder how these congressmen would react if other countries nominated “Occupy Wall Street” protestors?
Do these congressmen know that when the court issued the eviction order for these people to leave the “Occupy” areas, it had the support of over a million people in Hong Kong who responded to the signature campaign, because many people’s livelihoods were severely disrupted by the street occupation? Yet we had Wong and his collaborators trying to obstruct execution of the court’s order and as a result, he was rightly sentenced to imprisonment for three months for contempt of court.
On the other hand, the Nobel Peace Prize’s prestige has degenerated into something of a joke after it went to former US president Barak Obama before he accomplished anything meaningful. Recent riots in Tunisia show the award to current leaders was unjustified; Western powers have made the award a political tool.
Let’s face it. For most of Hong Kong’s 150 years as a British Colony, democracy was an unattainable concept for our people. They had no say in the selection of the governor or Legislative Council members. Where were all those American politicians who claimed to be champions of democracy? Why are they so outspoken now? The reason is obvious: They play adversarial politics against the mainland through Hong Kong.
But we need to give credit to these congressmen for being patriotic as they were united, despite coming from different political parties, in pursuing their selfish national interest. In our LegCo, one-third of members oppose their own motherland and are not willing to support national interest. The political quagmire the express rail co-location plan finds itself in shows their lack of patriotic fervor. Despite the project having obvious and immense national interest, opposition legislators resort to every possible excuse to sabotage it.
The author is honorary fellow and adjunct professor of HKU SPACE and council member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies. He is a former Deputy Commissioner of ICAC and an anti-corruption consultant to many governments.