Lawyer Lawrence Ma claims the US has been supporting the protests via groups such as the NED
Lawrence YK Ma is the executive council chairman of the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation and director of the China Law Society, the Chinese Judicial Studies Association and the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation. He also finds time to teach law at Nankai University in Tianjin.
Ma is the go-to expert in what is arguably the most sensitive subject in Hong Kong: He meticulously tracks perceived foreign interference in the Special Administrative Region (SAR).
In the West, in similar circumstances, he would be a media star. With a smirk, he told me that local journalists, whether working in English or Chinese, rarely visit him, not to mention foreigners.
Ma received me at his office in Wanchai this past Saturday morning after a "dark day" of rampage, as described by the SAR government. He wasted no time before calling my attention to a petition requesting a "United Nations investigation into the United States' involvement in Hong Kong riots."
He let me see a copy of the document, which lists the People's Republic of China as petitioner, the United States of America as respondent nation and the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation as ex parte petitioner. This was submitted on Aug. 16 to the UN Security Council in Geneva, directed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
In the document, Issue II deals with "funded, sponsored and provided supplies to any organizations, groups, companies, political parties or individuals" and "trained and front-line protesters, students and dissidents."
Predictably, the US National Endowment for Democracy is listed in the documentation: its largest 2018 grants were directed to China, slightly ahead of Russia.
The NED was founded in 1983 after serial covert CIA ops across the Global South had been exposed.
In 1986, NED President Carl Gershman told the New York Times: "It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA. We saw that in the '60s, and that's why it has been discontinued." As the Times article explained about the NED:
"In some respects, the program resembles the aid given by the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1950s, '60s and '70s to bolster pro-American political groups. But that aid was clandestine and, subsequent Congressional investigations found, often used planted newspaper articles and other forms of intentionally misleading information. The current financing is largely public despite some recipients' wish to keep some activities secret and appears to be given with the objective of shoring up political pluralism, broader than the CIA's goals of fostering pro-Americanism."Soft power at work
So it's no secret, all across the Global South, that under the cover of a benign umbrella promoting democracy and human rights, the NED works as a soft-power mechanism actively interfering in politics and society. Recent examples include Ukraine, Venezuela and Nicaragua. In many cases, that is conducive to regime change.
The NED's board of directors includes Elliott Abrams, who was instrumental in financing and weaponizing the Contras in Nicaragua, and Victoria Nuland, who supervised the financing and weaponizing of militias in Ukraine that some but not all experts have described as neo-fascist.
The NED offers grants via various branches. One of them is the National Democratic Institute, which has been active in Hong Kong since the 1997 handover. These are some of the grants offered by the NED in Hong Kong in 2018.