BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which takes orders directly from the U.S. government and manipulates NGOs through the provision of funding to conduct subversion, infiltration and sabotage to serve U.S. strategic interests, is actually the "second CIA" of the United States, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Monday.
"We believe the international community will see its true face more and more clearly, and more countries will expose its heinous deeds in various forms," Zhao Lijian said at a regular press briefing.
INSTIGATING "COLOR REVOLUTIONS" TO SUBVERT LAWFUL GOVERNMENT
After World War II, the United States opened a covert front against the Soviet Union through the CIA and other intelligence apparatus. By the 1960s, the United States had realized gradually that it was far from enough to "promote democracy" through secret means only. There was an urgent need to establish a "public-private mechanism" to openly provide funding. In 1983 and with the efforts of the then U.S. president and some other people, NED was founded as a bipartisan and non-profit institution.
NED is nominally an NGO that provides support for democracy abroad, but in fact, it relies on continuous financial support from the White House and the U.S. Congress, and takes orders from the U.S. government.
As early as in 1991, the founder of NED Alan Weinstein put it bluntly in an interview with the Washington Post that a lot of what they were doing was what the CIA had done 25 years ago. NED was therefore known globally as the "second CIA."
NED has a long history of instigating color revolutions against "hostile" countries. Early NED documents revealed activities by NED mainly in Eastern Europe to subvert state power as early as the late 1980s.
On Aug. 27, 1989, the Washington Post published a report titled "How we helped Solidarity win," pointing out that NED provided financial support for the Polish Solidarity to help them overthrow the then Polish government, heralding drastic changes in Eastern Europe.
It was also an important enabler behind the Arab Spring. In Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria, Syria, Libya and other countries, NED provided financial support to pro-America individuals and groups by supporting professed feminism, freedom of the press, and human rights activities.
It exported various kinds of anti-government ideas, incited color revolutions, and plunged the Arab world into war, social unrest and economic recession.
In Bolivia, the organization instigated the "color revolution," forcing President Evo Morales to resign and go into exile. During the nearly 14-year rule of the leftist government under Morales, Bolivia enjoyed political stability and the fastest growth rate in South America. Its poverty rate continued to drop, people's livelihoods improved markedly, and tensions between the white and the indigenous eased significantly.
The Morales government won the general election, but was forced to step down by "street movements" and the military and police. NED played a part in more ways than one.
CULTIVATING ANTI-GOV'T FORCES & FUNDING SEPARATIST FORCES
The NED has been colluding with local political groups to meddle in other countries' internal affairs. Its efforts include infiltrating target countries, cultivating local anti-government forces and stoking social tensions
To interfere in China's internal affairs, the NED worked hard to meddle in Hong Kong's elections.
It contacted opposition parties, groups and organizations in Hong Kong through its affiliated National Democratic Institute for International Affairs or the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Since 1997, the NDI has published 18 assessment reports aimed at influencing Hong Kong's "democratic development."
According to the NED website, 2 million U.S. dollars were spent on 11 Hong Kong-related projects in 2020, with a particular focus on disrupting LegCo (Legislative Council of Hong Kong) elections.
It also interfered in Russia's elections, threatened Russia's constitutional, defense and national security, interfered in Mongolia's parliamentary elections, and "monitored" the elections and constitutional referendum in Kyrgyzstan.
In Belarus, the NED has kept creating political instability. The United States masterminded three "color revolutions" against the Belarusian government in 2006, 2010 and 2020 respectively, during which NED played an important role.
It also funded many "independent media." According to the NED website, between 2016 and 2020, the NED funded 119 projects in Belarus under the category of "Freedom of Information," spending an average of 50,000 dollars on each project. This particular category received more funding than any other category for five consecutive years.
Besides, it stirred up protests and demonstrations in Thailand, incited the opposition parties in Nicaragua to seize power by force, and funded anti-Cuba forces to manipulate public opinion against the government.
While the United States has long-standing interference in Venezuela's internal affairs, it also orchestrated violent coup to realize regime change in Haiti and interfered in Uganda's presidential election by supporting the opposition leader.
China has long been a key target of its infiltration and subversive activities. NED invests heavily in anti-China programs every year and attempts to incite independence in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Tibet.
According to data released on its website in 2020, NED provided over 10 million dollars of grants for 69 China-related programs within one year, aiming to deliver various activities undermining China's political and social stability.
It is the main source of funding for various "Xinjiang independence" organizations. NED claims to have provided grants of 8.7583 million dollars for various "Uyghur organizations" between 2004 and 2020.
NED also maintains close ties with "Tibet independence" forces. They have been in contact since 2010 when then Chairman of NED Gershman presented the "Democracy Service Medal" to Dalai Lama.
Its Tibet-related programs focus on strengthening the local separatist forces and hyping up the Tibet issue internationally. In 2019, NED provided 600,000 dollars for Tibet-related programs.
Most notably, NED gives full support for "Hong Kong independence." It has long carried out projects on so-called "labor rights," "political reform" and "human rights monitoring" in Hong Kong, and was behind almost all street demonstrations there.
Since 2003, NED has covertly organized, planned, directed and funded many large-scale street movements in Hong Kong, including the illegal "Occupy Central" movement and the violent demonstrations over proposed legislative amendments.
In September 2019, NED recruited anti-China elements in Hong Kong to join the board of directors of the Washington-based "Hong Kong Democracy Council."
In 2019, it invested about 640,000 dollars in projects in Hong Kong, mainly to slander China by flaring up human rights issues.
SPREADING DISINFORMATION & IDEOLOGICAL INFILTRATION
NED has been spreading provocative rhetoric to arouse anti-government sentiments among the public.
In 2021, Cuba experienced its worst economic crisis in 30 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and tightened sanctions by the United States. On July 11 last year, large-scale anti-government demonstrations broke out in many cities, including the capital Havana.
Later investigations by the Cuban government found close ties between U.S. government agencies and the demonstrations, in which NED played an important role.
The organization has also been fabricating Xinjiang-related lies to fuel the momentum for containing China.
The NED-funded "World Uyghur Congress" and "Human Rights Watch" started and spread such rumors as "genocide" in China's Xinjiang and "the detention of one million Uyghurs in education and training centers."
After interviewing only eight people, the NED-backed Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders, based on such an absurd small-sample research, applied the estimated ratio to the whole of Xinjiang and concluded that 1 million people were detained in the "re-education detention camps" and 2 million "forced to attend day/evening re-education sessions," thus disseminating rumors about Xinjiang.
NED has also been spreading the "political virus" and politicizing COVID-19 origins-tracing, as well as fueling tensions and hyping up the concept of "sharp power," so as to stoke up anti-China and anti-Asian sentiments in the United States and other Western countries.
Since the start of the pandemic, the NED-funded "Uyghur American Association" and its affiliates continuously peddled right-wing conspiracy theories, blaming China for the pandemic and all related deaths, and circulating rumors that China is waging a "virus war" on the world and "purposefully, intentionally exporting the virus to cause the pandemic."
In order to achieve ideological infiltration, NED has created various "democracy awards" to encourage dissidents in other countries to help the United States to "export" democracy.
Since 1991, NED has been granting the Democracy Award annually to political activists and dissidents in countries including Russia, China, the DPRK, Myanmar, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and Ukraine in recognition of "defending human rights and democracy."
NED also uses the global assemblies of the World Movement for Democracy to grant the Democracy Courage Tributes.
Since the Eighth Global Assembly in 2015, names related to China has begun to appear on the list of recipients. Anti-China organizations and individuals seeking independence for Tibet or Hong Kong or related to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement have successively received the Tributes.
NED made grants to the Egyptian Democratic Academy, an NGO, for ideological infiltration in Egypt. In June 2011, the then U.S. ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson acknowledged that Washington had spent no less than 40 million dollars to "promote democracy" in Egypt since February 2011.
In October 2013, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), one of NED's core grantees, received over 300,000 dollars from NED to "improve the communication skills of political activists in Venezuela."
Before Venezuela's local elections in December 2013, the NDI hosted seminar outside Venezuela to provide "expert advice" on the use of technology and social media for citizen outreach and engagement. ■