“Color Revolution”: Hong Kong’s Umbrellas are “Made in USA”
The Washington neo-cons and their allies in the US State Department and Obama Administration are clearly furious with China, as they are with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. As both Russia and China in recent years have become more assertive about defining their national interests, and as both Eurasian powers draw into a closer cooperation on all strategic levels, Washington has decided to unleash havoc against Beijing, as it has unleashed the Ukraine dis-order against Russia and Russian links to the EU. The flurry of recent deals binding Beijing and Moscow more closely—the $400 billion gas pipeline, the BRICS infrastructure bank, trade in rubles and renminbi by-passing the US dollar—has triggered Washington’s response. It’s called the Hong Kong ‘Umbrella Revolution’ in the popular media.
In this era of industrial globalization and out-sourcing of US industry to cheap-labor countries, especially to China, it’s worth taking note of one thing the USA—or more precisely Washington DC and Langley, Virginia—are producing and exporting to China’s Hong Kong. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China has been targeted for a color revolution, one that has been dubbed in the media the Umbrella Revolution for the umbrellas that protesters use to block police tear gas.
The bourgeois are lucky in many ways, including how they always find highly photogenic people to incarnate their false heroes. Here Denise Ho, the very picture of smug righteosness, is being led away by instruments of evil China. Hollywood’s central casting could not have done better.
The “umbrellas” for Hong Kong’s ongoing Umbrella Revolution are made in Washington. Proof of that lies not only in the obscenely-rapid White House open support of Occupy Central just hours after it began, following the same model they used inUkraine. The US State Department and NGOs it finances have been quietly preparing these protests for years. Consider just the tip of the Washington Hong Kong “democracy” project.
Same dirty old cast of characters…
With almost by-now-boring monotony, Washington has unleashed another of its infamous Color Revolutions. US Government-steered NGOs and US-trained operatives are running the entire Hong Kong “Occupy Central” protests, ostensibly in protest of the rules Beijing has announced for Hong Kong’s 2017 elections. The Occupy Central Hong Kong protest movement is being nominally led by a 17-year-old student, Joshua Wong, who resembles a Hong Kong version of Harry Potter, a kid who was only just born the year Britain reluctantly ended its 99-year colonial occupation, ceding the city-state back to the Peoples’ Republic. Wong is accompanied in Occupy Central by a University of Minnesota-educated hedge fund money man for the protests, Edward Chin; by a Yale University-educated sociologist, Chan Kin-man; by a Baptist minister who is a veteran of the CIAs 1989 Tiananmen Square destabilization, Chu Yiu-ming; and by a Hong Kong University law professor, Benny Tai Yiu-ting, or Benny Tai.
Behind these Hong Kong faces, the US State Department and its favorite NGO, the US Congress-financed National Endowment for Democracy (NED), via its daughter, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), is running the Occupy Central operation. Let’s look behind the nice façade of peaceful non-violent protest for democracy and we find a very undemocratic covert Washington agenda.
Start with Chu Yiu-ming, the Baptist minister chosen to head Occupy Central. The most reverend Chu Yiu-ming is a founder and sits on the executive committee of a Hong Kong NGO– Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor (HKHRM). HKHRM as they openly admit on their website, is mainly financed by the US State Department via its neo-conservative Color Revolution NGO called National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
They state their purpose: “HKHRM briefs the press, the United Nations, local and overseas governments and legislative bodies on Hong Kong human rights issues both orally and through written reports.” In their 2013 Annual Report, the NED reports giving Rev. Chu Yiu-ming’s HK Human Rights Monitor a grant of US$ 145,000. You can buy a boatload of umbrellas for that. Chu’s HKHRM also works with another NED-financed creation, the Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA).
When Occupy Central top honchos decided to (undemocratically) name the very reverend Chu as leader of Occupy Central this past January, 2014, Chu said it was because “I have more connections with different activist groups, and experience in large-scale social campaigns.” He could have named NED as activist group and the CIA’s 1989 Tiananmen Square as a ‘large-scale social campaign,’ to be more specific. The Baptist preacher admitted that he was named de facto leader of Occupy Central by two other leading organizers of the civil disobedience movement, Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Dr Chan Kin-man, who wanted him “to take up” the role.
Benny Tai is also familiar with the US State Department. Tai, law professor at the University of Hong Kong and co-founder of Hong Kong Occupy Central, works with the Hong Kong University Centre for Comparative and Public Law which receives grants from the NED subsidiary, National Democratic Institute for projects like Design Democracy Hong Kong. The Centre Annual Report states, “With funding assistance from the National Democratic Institute, the Design Democracy Hong Kong website was built to promote a lawful and constructive bottom-up approach to constitutional and political reform in Hong Kong.” On its own website, NDI describes its years-long Hong Kong law project, the legal backdrop to the Occupy demands which essentially would open the door for a US-picked government in Hong Kong just as Victoria Nuland hand-picked a US-loyal coup regime in Ukraine in February 2014. The NDI boasts,
The Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL) at the University of Hong Kong, with support from NDI, is working to amplify citizens’ voices in that consultation process by creating Design Democracy Hong Kong (www.designdemocracy.hk), a unique and neutral website that gives citizens a place to discuss the future of Hong Kong’s electoral system.
The Hong Kong wunderkind of the Color Revolution Washington destabilization, 17-year-old student, Joshua Wong, founded a Facebook site called Scholarism when he was 15 with support from Washington’s neo-conservative National Endowment for Democracy via its left branch, National Democratic Institute and NDI’s NDItech project. And another Occupy Central leading figure, Audrey Eu Yuet recently met with Vice President Joe Biden. Hmmmm.
Cardinal Zen and cardinal sin…
Less visible in the mainstream media but identified as one of the key organizers of Occupy Central is Hong Kong’s Catholic Church Cardinal Bishop Emeritus, Joseph Zen. Cardinal Zen according to the Hong Kong Morning Post, is playing a key role in the US-financed protests against Beijing’s authority. Cardinal Zen also happens to be the primary Vatican adviser on China policy. Is the first Jesuit Pope in history, Pope Francis, making a US-financed retry at the mission of Society of Jesus founder (and, incidentally, the Pope’s real namesake) Francis Xavier, to subvert and take over the Peoples’ Republic of China, using Hong Kong as the Achilles Heel?
Vice President Joe Biden, whose own hands are soaked with the blood of thousands of eastern Ukraine victims of the neo-nazi civil war; Cardinal Zen; Reverend Chu; Joshua Wong; Benny Tai and the neo-conservative NED and its NDI and a bevy of other State Department assets and NGO’s too numerous to name here, have ignited a full-blown Color Revolution, the Umbrella Revolution. The timing of the action, a full two years before the Hong Kong 2017 elections, suggests that some people in Washington and elsewhere in the west were getting jumpy.
The growing Eurasian economic space of China in conjunction with Putin’s Russia and their guiding role in creating a peaceful and very effective counter-pole to Washington’s New World (dis-)Order, acting through organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS, is the real target of their dis-order. That is really quite stupid of them, but then, they are fundamentally stupid people who despise intelligence.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”
China is in the throes of a Color Revolution just as, if not more, menacing than the anti-establishment threat it faced in 1989 in Tiananmen Square. At that time, just as now, well-intentioned individuals (mostly youth) were caught up in the revolutionary romanticism of the day. Before it was the impending fall of communism throughout Eastern Europe, whereas nowadays it’s Color Revolutions, the ‘Arab Spring’ events (a theater-wide Color Revolution), and the Occupy Movement. Last time, however, the scene of activity was the capital, and the (unrealistic) goal was to bring about a quick and speedy end to Communist rule in China via a manipulated ‘people’s protest’. What is happening now, however, is more sinister in intent. The far-reaching strategic aim is to initiate a long-term spate of copy-cat protests not only in the other major urban areas of coastal China, but to serve as an inspiration for far more violent demonstrations in the distant and restive regions of Tibet and Xinjiang.Altogether, this has the disturbing and realistic possibility of descending into high-impact and crude ‘protester’-provoked violence and even all-out separatism in the periphery, running the risk of posing an existential threat to the very concept of ‘One China’.
The research is divided into two parts, with the first exploring the event and its external managers and financiers. Then it moves into focusing on the dupes and troops of the movement and the plotters’ own admission that it was pre-planned and they were trained in advance. This is followed by an examination into how the Color Revolution is being marketed and ends with the significant tactical innovation of the umbrella in purposely provoking a violent crackdown. The second section steps back from the situation’s specificities and investigates Hong Kong’s vulnerabilities to this destabilization, with the next portion looking at the Color Revolution’s overall theme and strategic aims, both domestically and internationally. Finally, an analysis of the government’s response to this threat concludes the article.
The ‘Umbrella Revolution’
The Hidden Hand of the ‘Umbrella Revolution’:
The ongoing events in Hong Kong exactly follow the template of all Color Revolutions. Well-intentioned individuals are being duped to join a movement aimed at overthrowing the authorities through a soft coup (for now). Legitimate grievances are being exploited by a revolutionary core and their cohorts to bring as many peaceful civilians into the fracas for use as human shields, in the hope that this will guarantee their own security amidst the crackdown that some of them are trying to provoke.
Importantly, this is not an entirely domestic protest movement, as investigative reporter and political analyst Tony Cartalucci has meticulously documented. His viral article proves the connection between the US State Department, its proxy National Endowment for Democracy, and the so-called ‘Umbrella Revolution’. As metaphorical icing on the cake, so to speak, to prove this point, Gene Sharp’s protégé and assistant, Jamila Raqtib, co-authored a recent article explaining why the ‘non-violent resistance strategies’ were utilized in the first place. One must keep in mind that Sharp is the godfather of ‘civilian’ anti-government activity all across the world, and that the majority of his works deal with how to topple the authorities in a targeted area. The ‘Umbrella Revolution’ should rightly be seen in this exact same light.
With this hidden hand in mind, one can more clearly understand how regular Hong Kong citizens with legitimate misgivings against their leaders can be corralled like cattle by the movement’s organizers into large-scale and strategically deployed ‘occupation ranches’. As unfortunate and grim as the comparison may seem, just like the rancher intends for his cattle to be destined for the slaughterhouse one day, so too does the Color Revolution ‘rancher’ intend for his ‘herd’ to feel the brunt of state force after their provocative ‘occupation’ threats, a motivation which will be described more in-depth in the second part.
The Dupes and Troops
As part of its destabilization operation, the US and its proxy partners have mobilized the use of Color Revolutionary ‘dupes and troops’. The student Scholarismmovement is led by Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong teenager and already professional provocateur who has close and questionable relations with the US consulate in the territory. Under the auspices of being an ‘innocent teenager’, he has encouraged thousands of fellow Hong Kong students to join his movement, effectively duping all of those who participate. While in the beginning campaigning only to peacefully protest the controversial election law modifications, he now commands his group to consider a “final action” of occupying government buildings, in a sure fire move that will lead to a forcible state response. Gone is the rhetoric of protesting the law, the supposed original spark for the protests, and out comes the true motivations for the street actions – the overthrow (in their terms, ‘resignation’) of Hong Kong’s chief executive and other political members, effectively amounting to mob-inspired regime change. At this stage of rapid rhetorical escalation, it would not be surprising if some activists start endorsing outright secession for Hong Kong from the People’s Republic of China.
The thousands of dupes form the vast majority of the ‘Umbrella Revolution’s’ participants and provide a human shield and personal buffer against the core and cohort members organizing the subversive action. The larger and more organized group, however, is called Occupy Central with Peace and Love and run by Benny Tai. Their members admittedthat they trained for months in order to prevent the police from dispersing them once they decided to initiate the destabilization. This makes the group more dangerous than Scholarism’s dupes, as they may have any level of militarized Color Revolution training, including the violent methods employed during EuroMaidan. Although originally planning their campaign to begin on 1 October, China’s symbolic national day (Color Revolutions are always associated with symbolism), they unexpectedly pushed it ahead a few days ostensibly to support Scholarism’s weekend activity. In reality, it was likely expected all along to push the original date forward in order to throw the Chinese authorities off, with Scholarism once more playing the dupe to Occupy Central’s troops, and Joshua Wong and his detainment being nothing more than a strawman justification for doing this.
Perception Management and ‘Selling Democracy’
The ‘Umbrella Revolution’ is being marketed in a very specific way to mask its regime change, destabilization, and secessionist end game. The slogan of ‘universal suffrage’ is highly misleading, as Hong Kong’s citizens were going to have a vote regardless, and nobody is being prevented from partaking in it. This is in stark contrast to Western governments that outright forbade Syrians living there from voting in the recent Presidential election back in June. In fact, in some of those Western countries, particularly the US, presidential and governor candidates only really get on the ballot due to the hefty financial backing that makes their campaign possible. One needs only to invoke the Electoral College system, where voters indirectly vote for the president, since it is their ‘electors’ who cast the actual ballots that matter.
Rhetorical hypocrisy aside, the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ is being marketed as a fresh student/youth movement versus the stale Communist Party bureaucracy. This isn’t true at all, as the majority of Hong Kong is against the subversives, which even CNN has implicitly acknowledged through their republication of an important op-ed piece by the Silent Majority founder. This group is the ‘anti-Maidan’ in Hong Kong, and already over 1.5 million Hong Kong citizens (out of 7 million) have signed a petition rejecting Occupy Central and its actions. This monumental number should be compared to the relatively paltry thousands that have taken to the streets to promote regime change to see which side true democracy rests on in Hong Kong.
In an intentional throwback to previous Western-sponsored destabilization efforts, a video has been making rounds where a young girl pleads with the Western audience to empathize with the protesters and support ‘democracy’. Called ‘Please Help Hong Kong’, it has already been recognized by online commentators as a structural copy of the ‘I am a Ukrainian’ video that was deployed during EuroMaidan, which itself was exposed as being linked to the NGO that managed the ‘Kony 2012’ and ‘Syrian Danny’ propaganda operations. Quite clearly, ‘Please Help Hong Kong’ is but another iteration of the same information manipulation formula that has been tried and tested in the destabilization operations before it.
The Umbrella as an Escalation Instrument
The eponymous Umbrella Revolution is known for the use of these accessories and plastic wrap to deflect pepper spray and other crowd control tools used by the authorities. The majority of the uninformed may laugh at the use of umbrellas or marvel at their ingenuity, but what most people neglect to realize is that this accessory is actually an instrument of violent and provocative escalation. By innovatively and inexpensively neutralizing the use of pepper spray and using plastic wrap to combat tear gas, the ‘protesters’ dangerously leave the outnumbered police with no other option than to use rubber bullets or worse to pacify the unruly masses, should need come to be.The Chinese authorities are now faced with two options – capitulate or escalate – but they have wisely created a third, unforeseen one, which is temporarily waiting it out. This risky decision will be discussed more at the conclusion of the work at the end of Part II.
Raining on China’s Parade
It is now necessary to look at the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ in a larger geopolitical perspective to best understand how it fits into the larger picture of US grand strategy for Eurasia. In short, the US is attempting to ‘rain on China’s parade’ of global ascendancy by hijacking and sabotaging it via whichever means possible, including internal subversion and the festering of violent and secessionist tendencies. Finally, important attention must be paid to how the Chinese authorities are dealing with the conundrum between capitulation and escalation
Hong Kong finally became reunited with China in 1997 after over 150 years of British occupation. Seeing as how it socially, politically, and economically developed in a different manner than the rest of China during such important and rapidly changing historical periods, it can be seen as having already formulated its own identity somewhat separate from that of the rest of the country. Hong Kong’s semi-autonomy institutionalized this in its citizens’ mindset after the reunification, and considering that they are formally an island chain (albeit in extreme close proximity to the mainland), there is also a geographic separation that reinforces their self-identification separateness. Through these means, a sizeable proportion of Hong Kong’s population is influenced by the West and its various mechanisms of projecting such influence (including in ‘democratic’ rhetoric), thus making it the low-hanging fruit of a unified China and subject to extreme outside interference.
The Chaos Contagion
The primary domestic objectives of the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ is to unleash a contagion of chaos to sweep through coastal China and severely undermine and weaken, if not overthrow, the Communist Party’s leadership. The idea is to create a ‘battering ram’ to break centralized control and initiate a chaotic chain reaction that spreads into all of China’s megalopolises via copycat movements (whether activated Color Revolution sleeper cells or not) and divides the rest of society, even if it is only theoretically 10% of a city’s population in favor of revolution and 90% against it. This strategic societal splitting leads to domestic chaos and a clash of two Chinas – ‘Chinese China’ and ‘Western China’, with the former supporting the Chinese method of democracy and managing affairs while the latter want to brazenly copy the West in all regards (like Russia’s ‘Westernizer’ leadership in the early 1990s, to similar success).
The end result is to create as much domestic chaos as possible to throw the authorities off balance and provoke another Tiananmen Square event. In turn, this can be selectively manipulated by Western media outlets for long-term image advantage and information warfare. CNN has already taken to highlighting the similarities between 1989 and 2014 (and 2019), and the activists themselves seem intent on doing the same, even hoisting the infamous ‘goddess of democracy’ above their gatherings. This is where the umbrella and plastic wrap innovations come into play. By offering the authorities no other non-lethal way to physically respond besides rubber bullets, the chances of this happening increase. Should the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ follow the template of Color Revolutions before it, one can expect ‘mysterious’ snipers to begin shooting indiscriminately at both police and civilians to maximize the chaotic uncertainty and provoke even more panic on the streets. Even if the Color Revolution attempt fails in all of its other objectives, its last-ditch intended legacy is to supercede the Tiananmen Square events as an even bigger black eye to China’s international reputation (whether real or perceived/manipulated).
The Containment and Cutting Apart of China
On an even larger scale, the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ is intended to both contain and then cut apart China, representing an ominous threat to the country’s international ambitions and even territorial integrity. To begin with, by redirecting the country’s focus back to the coast and away from the South China Sea maritime frontiers, it seeks to strategically distract Beijing in an already vulnerable geopolitical theater at a time of heightened competition and overlapping claims. In a certain way, it is specific iteration of the ‘Reverse Brzezinski’ theorem first postulated this summer in that it creates a US-sponsored ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ dilemma for Beijing. Not only that, but the US has a long-term ‘defensive’ goal of strategic economic diversification away from China and towards the ASEAN countries. To explain, the US understands that the complex and intimate level of economic interdependence is a vulnerability that constraints itself from more aggressive actions against China. It also wants to create a buffer belt of anti-Chinese states in ASEAN. Thus, it seeks to marry these two goals together by finding ways for Western businesses to relocate from China to Vietnam, for example. It remains to be seen, but if the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ stretches on indefinitely, as EuroMaidan seemed to do, it is only a matter of time before some Western businesses make high-profiled exits from Hong Kong in favor of locales further south. This is but a small development in a very long-term game, but the general idea should be grasped by the reader, and this probable trend is something to monitor going forward.
The hype caused by the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ is expected to spread not only to coastal China (as explained previously), but further afield and deeper into the country. Specifically, the US would like to see its pro-separatist policies in Tibet and Xinjiang energized by this movement, hoping that its proxy ‘activists’ take to the streets of Lhasa and Urumqi with umbrellas and plastic wrap themselves. By deflecting the non-lethal crowd control tactics of the Chinese authorities, they too can provoke an escalation that may tragically result in unintended civilian casualties. In fact, looking at it another way, the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ is the first time that the US’ destabilization campaigns have penetrated the Heihe-Tengchong Line. This geographical division divides the country into roughly two geographically equal parts, but with the West having about 6% of the population and the East, the other 94%. Ideally for America, if destabilization can be coordinated on both sides of the Heihi-Tengchong Line between Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang (not only by their American overseers, but by collaborationist and unwitting domestic organizers within China), then this would be a partial fulfilment of America’s strategic warfare against China, throw Beijing off balance, and reorient the overall Asian initiative against China’s favor. Accordingly, this scenario represents a terrifyingly realistic nightmare for the Communist Party, hence the seriousness with which they are regarding the ‘Umbrella Revolution’.
Between Two Chairs
Thus, an analysis of Beijing’s response to the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ takes on even more heightened importance than previously thought, since the movement, as has been argued, could be the spark initiating a larger separatist and anti-government push all throughout the country. With the activists having neutralized all non-lethal methods of crowd control by the authorities through their umbrellas and plastic wrap, the government now stands between two chairs, to quote a Russian saying, where neither capitulation nor escalation is preferable. Thus, as was remarked in Part I, China has opted to wait and see how the movement develops, hoping that the majority of Hong Kong’s citizens which oppose the destabilization will demonstrate their opposition to the Color Revolution and fizzle the event out. This, however, is fraught with risk and could drastically backfire, although in the present circumstances, it may be the only reasonable approach of the country’s leadership at the moment.
As the New York Times noted in the above-referenced hyperlink, by choosing such a strategy, the government is effectively ceding the momentum to the movement, which could result in its exponential expansion. Nonetheless, if the Chinese authorities use this extra time to arrest the core and cohorts behind the Color Revolution attempt, then it can adeptly eliminate this threat by leaving only a mass of peaceful and confused civilians sitting around without subversive orders. The government does appear to be making moves in this direction, as the newspaper also reports that it is tracking and monitoring the cell phone activity of certain activists, likely in an attempt to locate and arrest the covert ringleaders (not the red-herring and media-iconic strawmen like Joshua Wong).
Beijing’s method of dealing with the crisis also carries with it another risk, namely that the pro-government crowds that it expects to gather could in the long run turn out to be dangerous in their own right. For example, although they may be useful in mitigating the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ and saving Hong Kong’s stability, in the future they could gather on their own (using the connections acquired during their previous activity) to act autonomously and without Beijing’s blessing. This could take the form of extreme and widely broadcasted nationalist protests pertaining to the South China Sea controversy that could disrupt delicate Chinese diplomacy during a future crisis. Of course, the greater question is the extent that China can monitor and influence its citizens (both those that are pro- and anti-government), but this seemingly far-off threat could become a realistic possibility (or even one that could be directed and instigated by outside forces seeking to undermine China) sometime in the future. Basically, by opening the floodgates of activist civil society, China could also be unintentionally opening up a Pandora’s Box.
Hong Kong’s ‘Umbrella Revolution’ is undeniably a Western-orchestrated Color Revolution that seeks to exploit legitimate grievances to subversive and possibly secessionist effect. It is divided into two main groups, the dupes and the troops, with both of them having been brought together to form an anti-government mass in the middle of Hong Kong. By eliminating the effectiveness of the authorities’ non-lethal crowd control methods through cheap and readily available umbrellas and plastic wrap, they have pressed the government to resort to near-lethal force and rubber bullets if the activists follow through on their occupation threats. Although engineered to create a social contagion to rip through coastal China and the ethnic periphery, the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ succeeds if it can merely create the perception of another Tiananmen Square. Thus, Beijing is faced with a near intractable dilemma in how to proceed, hence its tentative ‘wait and see’ approach. This is, however, but a temporary breather, and both the anti-government activists and the legitimate authorities are likely bracing for what seems to be an inevitable escalation (protester-provoked) that could very well climax in catastrophe.
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