HONG KONG—When Hong Kong citizens began protesting for democracy and the right to choose their own leader without the Chinese regime’s influence, the Chinese regime protested right back.
More than 1,000 pro-Beijing business, labor, political, and community groups organized a march through Hong Kong on Aug. 17 to protest against Occupy Central with Love and Peace, a Hong Kong movement for universal suffrage. The organizers, who call themselves the Alliance for Peace and Democracy, announced after the march that over 1,500 pro-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) groups participated with a total of 193 thousand people.
The Alliance also said they have collected over 1,200,000 anti-Occupy Central signatures, topping the nearly 800,000 votes for democracy collected in Occupy Central’s informal referendum.
The Alliance’s event laid bare the underground CCP organizations in Hong Kong, including associations, fraternities, and unions, who normally keep a low profile. The CCP has used many overseas Chinese to infiltrate politics and establish groups and media that promote the interests of the CCP outside China.
By a conservative estimate, over 10,000 of these underground CCP members joined the Alliance’s march.
Hong Kong senior journalist and political affair commentator Ching Cheong wrote in the Ming Pao newspaper in 2012 that there were estimated to be nearly 400,000 underground CCP members in Hong Kong, about 5 percent of the population.
According to Ching, after Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997, the Chinese regime sent massive numbers of Party members to Hong Kong through a “family reunion” plan.
Many of the leaders of pro-CCP groups who participated in the march are members of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
One CPPCC member who joined the march is Wong Kwan-yu, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers (HKFEW). The HKFEW was founded in April 1975, fostered by the CCP to oppose the pan-democratic Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (PTU).
During the 2012 campaign in Hong Kong against the “national education” curriculum that glorified the CCP, Wong publicly supported national education.
The Hong Kong delegates to the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (HKCPPCC), many of whom are tycoons, helped sponsor the event.
Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing political parties, Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) and Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU), are also CPPCC members and were responsible for mobilizing people for the march.
According to Apple Daily, the event was funded by core members of Chinese compatriot groups. Albert Hung Chao-hong, the march’s general coordinator and honorary president of the Hong Kong Federation of Fujian Associations, personally donated HK$3 million (US$387,061).
Another Fujian group member, vice general coordinator Ng Leung-ho, donated HK$2 million. The vice coordinators of the Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, and other Chinese compatriot groups all donated at least HK$1 million.
In addition, the march’s vice coordinator and president of the Federation of Hong Kong Shenzhen Associations Leung Moon-lam was responsible for mobilizing Hong Kongers in the Chinese city of Shenzhen to go back to Hong Kong to join the march.
The event was led by the traditional CCP base in Hong Kong, the North Point Fujian community.
An inside source told Apple Daily that CPPCC member Albert Hung was responsible for coordinating the associations of fellow provincials. During past elections in Hong Kong, Hung also helped mobilize people to vote for pro-establishment camps.
Former Vote Rigger
The vice general coordinator of the march, Leung Leung-sing, is a standing vice president of the HKCPPCC, a member of the Hubei Provincial Committee of the CPPCC, the former richest man in Hubei Province. He is the founder of C-BONS Holding and was on the Forbes list of China’s richest for 10 consecutive years.
He is also well-known for rigging votes in Hong Kong’s 2011 District Council election.
An apartment unit under Leung’s name in the Taikoo Shing residential development was registered for seven voters with six different surnames, and these did not include Leung’s family. According to Hong Kong’s Next Magazine, the vote rigging was commanded by the United Front Work Department under the supervision of the Liaison Office, operated by the HKCPPCC to carefully plan the deployment of these tycoons’ vote rigging.
The HKCPPCC is understood to be one of the underground CCP organizations. When it was etablished in 2006, its founders gathered CPPCC members from 45 Chinese provinces, regions, municipalities, and sub-provincial cities.
The HKCPPCC now has over 20 key members and 1500 provincial CPPCC members. The CPPCC post has become a tool for buying and selling government positions, making it one of the largest underground CCP organizations to attract wealthy participants.
Chan Yong, a spokesman for the Alliance’s movement, is the vice president of Hong Kong’s pro-CCP political group New Territories Association of Societies (NTAS). The NTAS is considered one of the New Territories voting blocs of Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, another CCP supporter.
Supported by the CCP’s Politics and Law Committee, the Hong Kong Youth Care Association (HKYCA) also joined the march. The HKYCA is known for harassing Falun Gong practitioners and trying to block their information kiosks, which display facts about the CCP’s persecution of the spiritual practice to passersby in Hong Kong.
The HKYCA is also known to be closely related to the NTAS and other pro-CCP organizations.
Others groups who participated in the anti-democracy march include the Hong Kong Youth Association, the Europe and Asia Chinese Golf Association, and the Fishermen Association.
Paid to March
It was also discovered that an unknown number of the marchers were paid to show up.
A cable TV investigative reporter pretended to show interest in joining the march. He was directed to the Yuen Long Town Hall, where organizers arranged for him and the other marchers to get on a coach heading to Victoria Park.
The passengers on the coach all wore shirts with the Hong Kong Youth Association logo. The person in charge reminded them not to mention the payment and relevant matters, saying, “Bag it and keep it to yourself.”
After the roll call, payments were handed out. The reporter and the photographer accompanying him each received HK $250 (US $32).
Translated by Michelle Tsun. Written in English by Sally Appert.