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10 Absurd Conspiracy Theories About China

«Hong Kong Protesters Were US Stooges

This theory is particularly popular with the Chinese government, which claims that the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong last year were linked directly to US government attempts to destabilize China. Pro-Beijing newspaper Wen Wei Po claimed that Joshua Wong, a student leader, had met with US consular officials and even received training from the Marines. Theorists also claimed that opposition leader Benny Tai, a University of Hong Kong law professor, was being paid to rile up sedition by the US State Department through his membership in the Center for Comparative and Public Law, a pro–human rights NGO.

The theory goes that the US is heavily involved in stirring up popular discontent and protests against foreign governments, including staged violence in the 2010 Thailand protests, and that the CIA and other US government organs have similar plans for Hong Kong. The claims of US conspiracy gave the Chinese government justification for sly crackdowns on the protest movement, including paying triads to assault protesters and bringing in masked men from Guangdong to disrupt the protests with violent force. One protester complained of the mainland thugs: “Hong Kong people don’t spit on Hong Kong people. In Hong Kong, they spit on the roads.”»

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