China’s state media has accused a United States think tank of encouraging the Occupy Central protests in Hong Kong, Ming Pao Daily News reported Tuesday.
The overseas edition of People’s Daily, the Communist Party mouthpiece, on Friday pointed a finger at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), saying the US think tank was supporting the civil disobedience campaign in Hong Kong, the report said.
The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), a body which legislative councilor Lee Cheuk-yan serves as secretary general, is said to have received over HK$10 million grant from the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, which operates under the NED, over the last few years.
HKCTU chief executive Mung Siu-tat said the funds were all spent on labor rights-related campaigns and that the money was not used on any political parties. Mung stressed that all income and expenses were reported to the Inland Revenue Department factually.
Mung said it was regrettable that some people have attempted to defame HKCTU by revealing project details and email exchanges. The HKCTU will, meanwhile, stand firm on its stance to fight for genuine universal suffrage without fear, he said.
According to the NED website, it handles three types of projects in Hong Kong — involving Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, American Center for International Labor Solidarity and National Democratic Institute.
The HKCTU has applied for funding from the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, which was founded in 1997, of a total of HK$9 million, or HK$500,000 a year, so far, Mung revealed, insisting that there were no political conditions or requests attached to the funding proposals.
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