Is Hong Kong a repeat of the CIA-sponsored Iranian coup?

The unmistakable parallels between Hong Kong SAR 2019 protests and the CIA sponsored 1953 Iranian Coup d’état is yet another ‘(c)overt’ U.S. government interference to influence and disrupt other states that challenge American hegemony.

There are unmistakable parallels between the Hong Kong SAR 2019 protests and the CIA sponsored 1953 Iranian Coup d’état that toppled Iran’s democratically elected government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq. In Hong Kong, the progression of the protests seemed to have followed a textbook execution of the four phases of the Plan of Action of the CIA-led operation codenamed TPAJAX.  Let me outline each phase below.

Phase I – ‘bribe’ the media czars

Jimmy Lai, who owns Apple Daily and NEXT Media, has been bankrolling and promoting anti-China political movements due to his obsession with the ‘clash of civilization‘ paradigm between the mainland and Hong Kong.  The White House support for him is well publicised, so is it any coincidence that Lai’s American ‘consigliere’, Mark Simon, comes from a US intelligence background?

Phase II – anti-regime propaganda

Jimmy Lai’s Apple Daily and NEXT Media do not hold back with their hostile reporting of the protests and are often pitched in virulent Sinophobia to provoke grievances and exacerbate the violence.  The Hong Kong Free Press founded by British nationals is yet another anti-regime propaganda mouthpiece, exaggerating numbers of protestors brandishing US flags, and spreading rumours about young protestors being beaten to death by riot police when there was no evidence to substantiate it.  Some foreign charities also play a role in fuelling anti-regime sentiment because they were infiltrated by foreign intelligence services, or they collude with foreign governments to distribute secret funds to anti-regime groups.  Oxfam’s 2018 Hong Kong Inequality Report paints a stark picture of a city in socio-economic turmoil with its people growing resentful and hostile, due to a callous government with little regard to their welfare.  The Oxfam report serves as a form of psychological warfare to disinform (exaggerating the socio-economic threat of government inaction), destablise (government would ‘worry’ that people are truly resentful and hostile) and nudge the people to act (Oxfam’s proposals are impossible to materialize and enact by the government, which makes government the problem so people seek change through social unrest and rebellion).

Phase III – recruit allies

The HK Government’s plans to allow extradition to mainland China (a bill that has since been withdrawn) were portrayed as a serious threat to HK’s independence and economic fortunes.  The Anglo-American media ‘marked’ certain elites as ‘pro-democracy’ protest leaders (‘regime-change’ assets?) who were split into ones who received funding and ones who received no funding from the US Government.

US funding received

(a) Martin Lee, leader of the Democratic Party and “retake Hong Kong movement” enjoyed Washington’s support for many years; (b) Joshua Wong, Agnés Chow and Nathan Law, leaders of the political party Demosistō have long been cultivated and funded by US State Department regime-change groups, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Freedom House; and (c) the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, which received more than $2 million in NED funds since 1995.

US funding NOT received

(a) Edward Leung, leader of the HK Indigenous party, is a Sinophobe who advocates militant resistance; (b) Andy Chan Ho-tin, leader of the banned HK National Party, is a Sinophobe parroting supremacist conspiracy theories of ‘genocide by substitution‘ with outlandish proclamations and theatrics while his followers wave American flags during the protests; and (c) Reverend Chu Yiu-ming is co-founder of the HK Civic Education Foundation and HK Democratic Development Network, who often rallied his followers to attend mass protests and prayer sessions.  Reverend Chu Yiu-ming may have been cultivated in the same way as the influential Iranian Mullahs, given the CIA’s history in using religious groups to destabilise countries and carry out intelligence activities.  The propping up of ‘regime-change’ assets not only legitimises them, but also positions them to be the ‘loyal’ and ‘vetted’ leaders of the new government serving their ‘paymasters’ and ‘supporters’ in the future.

Phase VI – Apprehend the leadership

The main objective of protracted provocations is to render the Executive powerless, and thus ‘apprehended’ by their own dysfunction.  The mass protests followed a ‘Marginal Violence Theory’ strategy, whereby ‘mild force’ was used to provoke security services into attacking the protesters, in order to shift the international sympathy away from the state.  However, the impatient young protestors moved quickly to belligerent mob violence, but were thwarted by the authorities measured response and the impeccable restraint of HKSAR Police.  The Central Government intervened decisively with a National Security law to counter subversionsecessionterrorism and foreign interference, just like Australia did when it introduced specific foreign interference offences in its National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018.

American supremacy is now limited by the reality that it has to dismantle China’s BRI alliances with 138 countries (61.7% of the world population and 51.7% of world GDP). This is why the US and its allies are going on the offensive with sanctions, tariffs’ trade wars, technology bans, media restrictions and foreign interference under the pretext of ‘human rights’ concerns.  The (c)overt’ US government interference in HKSAR affairs with aggressive support and funding for pro-independence ‘regime-change‘ recruits is just one of those disruptive policies to intensify the global anti-China sentiment that is already aggravated due to Covid-19, so as to destabilise China’s largest economic and geopolitical BRI alliances.

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George Mickhail is an LSE trained academic and a geopolitical risk analyst with 30 years’ experience in major global accounting firms and business schools. His research focuses on MetaCapitalism and mapping the geopolitical threats of global financial networks. He comments regularly on political economic affairs and his research is cited in the media.

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