Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ex-AIT director taking fire in Hong Kong

First it was media mogul Jimmy Lai acting as paymaster to the opposition. Now Stephen Young is being accused of trying to create chaos in the territory. All signs that Beijing is nervous about 2012

Former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director Stephen Young has run into trouble with Chinese authorities in Hong Kong for reportedly ignoring “solemn warnings” to keep quiet about democracy in the territory, the Washington Post reported.

Young, who assumed the position of US consul-general in Hong Kong in March last year, has in recent months faced accusations by Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-controlled media in the territory of being part of a US plot to sow discord in the territory to “keep China down.”

Leading the attacks against Young, the Chinese-language and pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po has said the diplomat comes from “an anti-China, anti-communist family,” adding that “wherever he goes, there is trouble and so-called color revolution.” The paper has also reportedly launched attacks on academics who favor democratic reform in Hong Kong.

The Mandarin-speaking Young was AIT director from March 2006 until July 2009, and US ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from 2003 until 2005, when the former Soviet republic was rocked by a democratic uprising.

The severity of the campaign against Young climbed a notch after Lu Xinhua (呂新華), head of the Hong Kong branch of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made a personal rebuke during a meeting with reporters in Hong Kong recently.

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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