Writer reveals CIA funding in HK protests

Local | Jasmine Ling 24 Nov 2020

Jasmine Ling

"Revolution consultants" from the United States and Europe showed local protesters how to maximize civil disruption while keeping the media on-side, says a book to be published this week.

A secret high-level committee of Hong Kong senior activists worked with Western agents from the CIA to coordinate and amplify the leaderless protests against the fugitive law amendment last year, Nury Vittachi claims in his book The Other Side of the Story: A Secret War in Hong Kong.

Vittachi, a veteran journalist and a columnist for The Standard, accused the CIA of funding anti-government activities in the SAR. He said Hong Kong protesters have received practical training in street-protest strategy and media control from members of the professional revolution industry since January 2013.

The book named three US-based groups - the Oslo Freedom Foundation, the Albert Einstein Institute and the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies - which were directly involved in last year's social unrest.

"These groups called themselves 'revolution consultants' and claimed they had toppled down six to seven governments," Vittachi said. "The consultants admitted having prepared training materials as early as 2013."

He added that public records had shown that the National Endowment for Democracy, the CIA's regime-change arm, had sent HK$170 million to the mainland or Hong Kong since 2014 to "advance the cause of democracy."

But Vittachi thinks that was only a small part of the money sent to anti-government groups. Much larger sums were steered to activists through potent yet secretive agencies like the US Agency for Global Media and the Open Technology Fund.

He said the organizations provided at least US$640,000 (HK$4.99 million) to protesters last year. By tracking bank records, he identified an 18-year-old man who received US$480,000 to take part in protests for a month.

The book is scheduled to launch this week. All proceeds will go to a non-profit fund for youth.

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