Date
17 October 2017
Corrupt forces from the mainland have been using Hong Kong as a safe haven to commit various crimes. Photo: customs.gov.cn
Corrupt forces from the mainland have been using Hong Kong as a safe haven to commit various crimes. Photo: customs.gov.cn

What ‘foreign forces’ are truly threatening HK

Do so-called “foreign forces” really exist in Hong Kong?

Do they really constitute a serious threat to the city’s social stability and economic prosperity?

It goes without saying that the answer is affirmative.

However, such foreign forces are not the external influences from the West that the Chinese Communist Party or indigenous Communists in Hong Kong were referring to at the height of the Umbrella movement.

For example, Vice Premier Wang Yang mentioned during his official visit to Russia last year that the West was trying to perpetrate a “color revolution” in Hong Kong by supporting leaders of the opposition.

Communist Party mouthpieces in Hong Kong, such as the Chinese-language newspapers Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao, alleged that the British and US consulates, as well as educational and cultural agencies funded by western powers, were the masterminds behind the Occupy movement, citing supposedly supporting evidence stolen through the dishonest use of computers.

When Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was asked by reporters about such allegations, he claimed the government possessed conclusive evidence that could prove western involvement in the movement. He said he would publish the evidence when the time was ripe.

However, Leung did not hand over the evidence at any news conference after the Occupy movement ended, nor did he shed further light on the matter in his policy address.

The so-called evidence, it later turned out, was simply based on reports by Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao that Next Media founder Jimmy Lai Chi-ying and Occupy Central founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting made out several cheques to pan-democrats through a Kwun Tong branch of HSBC.

If it is really true that foreign forces have been actively interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs, then why did Leung spend so much time lambasting Undergrad, a previously unheard-of journal of a university student union, in his policy address, instead of drawing public attention to the sinister western conspiracy backing the Occupy movement?

The reason is simple: there was no such thing.

In fact, the only external force interfering in our local affairs is either from mainland China or from certain anti-party or anti-Xi Jinping factions embedded in Hong Kong.

I am not alone in saying there was no “color revolution” in Hong Kong whatsoever.

Even President Xi Jinping referred to the 79-day-long Umbrella movement during the APEC summit in Beijing in November as a “massive infringement of the law in society” rather than as any sort of “color revolution”.

And US President Barack Obama denied any US involvement in the Occupy movement.

Their statements set the record straight and put an end to all rumors about any western involvement in the movement.

This is exactly why Leung didn’t say a single word about his so-called evidence in his policy address — he just wouldn’t dare to contradict Xi publicly.

As a matter of fact, it is the anti-party and anti-Xi forces who should be held responsible for the political chaos and social disharmony in Hong Kong in recent years, especially after Leung gained power with the support of certain party factions and the indigenous Communists.

They are the root of the social unrest that has haunted Hong Kong for so long.

There are several cases that prove my point.

First, in May last year, Fang Fang, JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive of China investment banking, was arrested by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption.

The US government was carrying out an investigation under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977, which forbids US companies from hiring the children of senior overseas officials in order to win business.

Fang set up a Sons and Daugters program, which violated the rules. It is obvious that the ICAC was tipped off by the US government and arrested Fang at its request.

Since it is an open secret that many sons and daughters of senior Chinese leaders hold top jobs with foreign banks in Hong Kong, Fang’s case is highly sensitive, and it is likely that he was involved in a high-level power struggle within the Communist Party. The ICAC has so far declined to comment on the case.

Intriguingly, Leung reappointed Fang as a member of the Commission on Strategic Development on Jan. 15.

The second case is that of Song Lin, whose downfall has a lot in common with Fang’s.

Formerly chairman of China Resources, one of the largest mainland state-run enterprises in Hong Kong, Song was arrested in a graft investigation and sacked in April last year. 

Song was a political ally of Zhou Yongkang, the party heavyweight who was recently expelled and arrested for corruption.

Helen Yang Lijuan, Song’s alleged mistress, used to hold top jobs with Credit Suisse and UBS in Hong Kong.

Although Song’s case was first revealed by a mainland journalist in 2013, Leung continued to offer him public service appointments.

It seems some high-ranking people in Hong Kong are suspected of harboring corrupt mainland officials and violating Xi’s order to crack down on corruption. On that score, the Hong Kong government still owes the public an explanation.

In the third case, a woman known as Zhao Danna, who Yazhou Zhoukan magazine said is a daughter of the notoriously corrupt top army general Xu Caihou, arrived in Hong Kong in February last year and opened a bank account in the name of a shell company, through which she allegedly laundered more than HK$10 billion (US$1.28 billion).

Zhao was arrested and later released from custody on bail of HK$30 million. She jumped bail and fled the city.

Why such a high-profile suspect as Zhao would be granted bail so easily remains unknown. Could someone in power have been trying to protect her?

The cases I just mentioned indicate corrupt forces from the mainland have been using Hong Kong as a safe haven to commit various crimes.

Without someone in power in the city to harbor them, they could never have done so.

It is clear that these corrupt forces are creating political turmoil, social unrest and disharmony in Hong Kong to obtain political leverage against Xi and undermine the authority of Beijing.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb 4.

Translation by Alan Lee

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Fang Fang (left) and Song Lin are alleged to have engaged in corruption as top executives based in Hong Kong. Photos: Bloomberg


Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist

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