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Hong Kong Chief Executive Once Again Blames Occupy Central On 'External Forces'. But Where Are The Proofs?

In a televised interview on Sunday, Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong's Chief Executive, has once again accused foreigners of interfering in Hong Kong's pro-democracy movements.

"There is obviously participation by people, organisations from outside of Hong Kong, in politics in Hong Kong, over a long time," he said. "This is not the only time when they do it, and this is not an exception either."

Whenever I read or hear this kind of opinion, I feel blood rising to my head. 

First of all, what proofs does he have in order to make such an accusation? Who are the people and the organisations outside of Hong Kong that are behind the pro-democracy movements? Certainly, some foreign individuals have taken part in Occupy Central. But there is not one leader of the movement that is a foreigner, and virtually all protesters are Hong Kongers. Now, if Leung makes such an accusation, the people should demand that he proves the link between the leaders of Occupy Central as well as the protesters, and the alleged foreigner people or organisations that -according to Leung - are masterminding the movement. Does he have in his possession receipts of financial aid to Occupy Central from foreign nationals? Does he have letters, documents, or other written records of a systematic and obscure cooperation between foreign individuals and Occupy Central? If so, he should at once produce these proofs and make them public. But if he hasn't, what is he talking about? Saying that foreign forces are behind Occupy Central is as absurd as saying that the ancient Egyptians came from another planet. Without evidence, without proofs, each theory is just fantasy. 

Second, blaming external forces is an old trick. The logic is the following: the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is China > Hong Kong is part of China > Hong Kong is under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government > Hong Kong is under the jurisdiction of the CCP > Hongkongers who don't accept the CCP's leadership are unpatriotic > Unpatriotic Hongkongers are controlled by foreigners. 

Obviously, this line of reasoning is entirely wrong and naive (as I will explain in another post). 

Third, I agree that Western governments should stay out of Hong Kong's affairs and, in this respect, the recent report by the United States' Congressional-Executive Commission on China was counterproductive. The Chinese don't like when other governments point their finger at them publicly, and to a certain extent this is understandable. 

However, it is important to make a distinction between governments and officials on the one hand, and private citizens, including organisations such as media companies, on the other. While the first are bound by duty to subordinate their private opinions to political objectives such as the maintenance of international order (for instance, diplomats are supposed to act in the interest of the state they represent, and they often have to repress their own feelings and opinions when they deal with official matters), the latter are and should be entirely free to express their views. However, when private citizens express their views, this is not to be considered "interference" in other countries' matters. 

Fourth, it is true that some Hongkongers are asking support from abroad (if it is just moral support, it is no problem; if they are asking for more, then I'd say Leung is right). But that's just because their own government is not listening to them and there are no democratic institutional mechanisms in Hong Kong so that the people can make their voice heard. 



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