A CCTV documentary accusing the United States of interference in Hong Kong and inciting the city’s ongoing protests was merely trying to shift blame from Beijing, the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong said.
The documentary, titled Another Hong Kong, was aired in late May on several Hong Kong television channels. It was produced by CCTV — a prominent state-owned television network in China — and contains two 40-minute episodes.
In its second episode, the program claimed that former Hong Kong chief secretary Anson Chan — the then second-in-command in the government — media tycoon Jimmy Lai, and former lawmakers Albert Ho and Martin Lee were the leaders in a campaign to “mess up Hong Kong.”
The documentary also accused Demosisto activists Joshua Wong and Nathan Law of meeting with U.S. Consulate’s political unit chief Julie Eadeh last August. It claimed that Eadeh was an expert in subversion with experience in the Middle East. It said Eadeh was responsible for writing reports smearing mainland China and Hong Kong over human rights issues.
Harvey Sernovitz, a spokesperson for the U.S. Consulate, denied the accusations and said they were merely Beijing’s attempts to shift blame. The act reflected Beijing’s anxiety about making policies that would meet the expectations of the Hong Kong public, Sernovitz added.
In response, Wong said that Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and pro-establishment lawmakers such as Holden Chow and Starry Lee also often met with foreign consuls in Hong Kong. He called the accusations of collusion with foreign forces “ridiculous”.
“[The program] said the National Endowment for Democracy paid for protesters’ training. This is a false accusation,” he said, adding that the program was spreading hate against him and other activists painted by Beijing as independence advocates.
Wong urged the public to file complaints to the Office of the Communications Authority if they believe the program was untruthful.
IT sector lawmaker Charles Mok, head of the legislature’s Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting, said the Communications Authority should handle complaints against the program thoroughly.
Mok said he was unsure why the channels chose to broadcast the documentary recently. He wondered if the arrangement had involved any political pressure.
A spokesperson for the Communications Authority said that it has received 802 complaints over the program broadcast on TVB and Now TV, most saying that the program was biased and untruthful. It said it would handle the complaints in accordance with existing procedures. Separately, i-Cable received one complaint.
The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said licenced television channels must follow guidelines issued by the Communications Authority.