Mr. Wong came to local fame in 2012 after his Scholarism group, made up of secondary school students, protested against a plan by the Hong Kong government to implement “patriotic education” classes in Hong Kong schools.
Isabella Steger reports: The face of Hong Kong’s student democracy movement came under furious attack by a pro-Beijing newspaper today, upping the ante in the fight over the former British colony’s political future.
On Thursday, Wen Wei Po published an “expose” into what it described as the U.S. connections of Joshua Wong, the 17 year-old leader of student group Scholarism.
“This isn’t the first time that Beijing-friendly media have accused foreign countries of covert meddling in the former British colony.”
The story asserts that “U.S. forces” identified Mr. Wong’s potential three years ago, and have worked since then to cultivate him as a “political superstar.”
“China’s government has long been concerned that Western intelligence agencies might try to exploit the city’s relatively more open political environment to push democracy in the rest of the country.”
Evidence for Mr. Wong’s close ties to the U.S. that the paper cited included what the report described as frequent meetings with U.S. consulate personnel in Hong Kong and covert donations from Americans to Mr. Wong. As evidence, the paper cited photographs leaked by “netizens.” The story also said Mr. Wong’s family visited Macau in 2011 at the invitation of the American Chamber of Commerce, where they stayed at the “U.S.-owned” Venetian Macao, which is owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp.
When asked about Wen Wei Po’s allegations that he was being manipulated by U.S. forces, Mr. Wong denied the idea. “Of course it’s false,” Mr. Wong told China Real Time. In a subsequent statement posted online, Mr. Wong denied every detail in Wen Wei Po’s story. Read the rest of this entry »