While there has been growing coverage of the unrest in Hong Kong, there has been minimal coverage of what may lie behind the pro-democracy protests. Even Donald Trump has entered the fray with this tweet which clearly condemns China’s actions against protestors in Hong Kong:
As you will see in this posting, it is entirely possible that a Washington-based and Congressionally funded institution is responsible, at least in part, for the lack of calmness in Hong Kong.
A few weeks ago, I wrote this posting on the National Endowment for Democracy or NED, America’s instrument of democratic promotion around the world, that is, democracy American style. NED was founded in 1983 during the Reagan Administration with the following Statement of Principles and Objectives:
“Democracy involves the right of the people freely to determine their own destiny.
The exercise of this right requires a system that guarantees freedom of expression, belief and association, free and competitive elections, respect for the inalienable rights of individuals and minorities, free communications media, and the rule of law.“
While NED touts itself as a “private” foundation, in other words, it is independent of government. That could not be further from the truth. Here’s what NED has to say about itself that belies its true character:
“NED is a unique institution. The Endowment’s nongovernmental character gives it a flexibility that makes it possible to work in some of the world’s most difficult circumstances, and to respond quickly when there is an opportunity for political change. NED is dedicated to fostering the growth of a wide range of democratic institutions abroad, including political parties, trade unions, free markets and business organizations, as well as the many elements of a vibrant civil society that ensure human rights, an independent media, and the rule of law.
This well-rounded approach responds to the diverse aspects of democracy and has proved both practical and effective throughout NED’s history. Funded largely by the U.S. Congress, the support NED gives to groups abroad sends an important message of solidarity to many democrats who are working for freedom and human rights,