HKFP Occupy banner one year on

A full year after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying stated that external forces were involved in the pro-democracy Occupy protests, evidence of the claim has yet to emerge.

Leung said in an ATV interview on October 19 last year that “There is obviously participation by people, organisations from outside of Hong Kong, in politics in Hong Kong, over a long time, and this is not the only time when they do it, and this is not an exception either.”

“There are external forces, yes,” he added, “from different countries in different parts of the world. I shall not go into details, but this is not entirely a domestic movement.”

hong kong cy leung
Photo: HKFP.

When he was asked by host Michael Chugani about the situation of the movement, Leung said: “I shouldn’t use the word control… no one can now control the movement, I have said that this is a political movement that has got out of control… even for people who started it, for people who planned it, for people who scripted it.”

At a press conference, he pledged to provide proof at an “appropriate time”.

YouTube video

“Reveal materials”

On January 13 this year, he restated his stance on the involvement of external forces ahead of an Executive Council meeting.

Leung was apparently referring to the leaked emails of Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai. The emails revealed that an anonymous donation had been made to Tai’s employer, the University of Hong Kong, using cheques issued by an HSBC branch in Kwun Tong. It was the same bank branch that Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying had allegedly made donations to the pan-democrats over the last few years.

“In the past few months, large amounts of materials have been revealed… and those people concerned did not deny the validity of such documents,” Leung said.

“Hong Kong society should care about these issues, which is the political issue of external forces getting involved in Hong Kong, including large-scale and illegal public movements such as Occupy,” he added. “You can look at the revealed materials, it seems these these revealed materials will arouse further attention in society.”

No evidence was provided.

When challenged in April by New York Times reporter Alan Wong about providing proof, Leung said: “I stand by what I said”.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.