NGOs get financial support from US govt, smear China

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/4 2:01:40


China announced sanctions on a batch of US-based non-governmental organizations after the US passed the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

Some observers hailed the move saying that for a long time under the guise of protecting human rights and democracy, these NGOs, which are supported by US politicians and other intelligence departments, have played a disgraceful role in pushing regime changes globally, bringing global turmoil and cooperating with the US and other anti-China forces to contain China.

The US-based NGOs on China's sanction list include National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Republican Institute (IRI), Freedom House, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and Human Rights Watch.

Not biting feeding hands

Although flaunting their neutrality, these NGOs have always been manipulated by the US government and politicians and have promoted US ideology and values while trying to transform other countries to make them fit US interests, experts said.

When digging up the background of these US-based NGOs, the Global Times found that they are actually supported by the US government and some politicians and their main task is to promote US values and safeguard US interests.

Take the NED for example. It was founded in 1983 and claimed to be private, nonprofit and dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, it receives more than 1,600 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad that are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries. The money comes largely from the US Congress.

A founder of the NED, Allen Weinstein, told the Washington Post in 1991 that "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."

IRI claims to be a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization but it is accepting money from the US State Department and US Agency for International Development. The latter is a federal government organ that always does its work in line with US foreign policies, be it promoting free markets in the 1980s or "helping" countries establish democracies since the 1990s as the organization claims.  

Freedom House also calls itself an independent organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world. However, 80 percent of its funds are from the US government and it works for US authorities, according to an article published in a journal of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

Founded in 1941 to oppose Nazism and communism in Europe at the time, the Washington-based organization works as a think-tank for the US Department of Defense and is one of the core industries of the Bush family.

"These NGOs would not bite the hands that feed them, which means they are working on imposing US rules and ideology on other countries. They want to mold other countries to fit the needs of the US and to serve US interests," Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University's Institute of International Relations, told the Global Times.

"With prejudice and superiority, these NGOs usually take the moral high ground and criticize other countries' affairs. Many of their reports, especially those on human rights, are biased and not objective. They also impose US democracy globally without considering local conditions, which usually brings destruction in many parts of the world," Li said.

NED, with four core institutes that include IRI and NDI, claims to provide direct support to groups abroad that are working for human rights, independent media, the rule of law, and a wide range of civil society initiatives.

It also claims to cultivate partner organizations in new democracies, citing as an example Polish NGOs working to advance democratic civic education throughout Central Europe and in many parts of the former Soviet Union.

Historically, NED was behind the transformation of East Europe in the 1980s and 1990s. It was also involved in the Arab Spring and color revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia.

In recent years, Freedom House's main activities have been in politically unstable countries including Serbia, Ukraine and others in the Middle East. It backs internal regime changes by instigating young intellectuals, according to a report by German news magazine Der Spiegel.

Moreover, every year since 1972, Freedom House has released a report assessing political rights and civil liberties around the world. That biased assessment ranks countries as "Free," "Partly Free" and "Not Free."

A report by a Swiss website points out that most of non-governmental organizations in the US are actually "GoNGO," which means non-governmental organizations that are organized by the government. Freedom House and NED are listed as "GoNGO."

"GoNGOs" are funded by the US government, so they work at the will of the US and support publicity of the US, according to the report.

Siege of China

Since attacking China has become "politically correct" in the US, US NGOs now work with media, think-tanks and US politicians to hype sensitive topics, especially those on China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region and Taiwan. They have tried hard to make trouble for China and to contain China, analysts said.

Giving financial support to secessionist groups in China or overseas is one way US NGOs make trouble for China. NED granted $670,000 in 2018 for projects related to Xinjiang, a region it referred to as East Turkestan, a term used by secessionist forces. More than half of the money went to the World Uyghur Congress, the infamous separatist organization.

In 2018, NED offered $4.75 million in support of so-called human rights activists in the Chinese mainland - individuals who spread "democracy" or "fight for religious freedom."

NED also sponsored publications and radio broadcasts by secessionist Tibetans in exile, helping them to record so-called "human rights violation behaviors" and to cultivate a new generation of secessionists. It gave $445,000 to human rights programs.

Drawing dissidents over to their side, maintaining close relations with notorious overseas separatists and separatist groups and releasing so-called neutral reports to cooperate with media to smear China are also methods adopted by these NGOs, experts said.

In 2019, NED conferred its Democracy Award on three organizations including The World Uyghur Congress and Tibet Action Institute, an organization of secessionist Tibetans in exile. And Since 1991, NED has given many awards to dissidents.

An anonymous expert on human rights told the Global Times that Human Rights Watch often releases reports accusing China and other developing countries of human rights violations but seldom notes severe situations in the US.

"Their reports are never neutral and are always made for political reasons. Take its Xinjiang reports for example, without checking facts, it accused China of oppressing 13 million Uyghurs in Xinjiang," said the expert, noting that Sophie Richardson, China director of Human Rights Watch often re-tweeted fake news or rumors on Xinjiang on her Twitter account.

Newspaper headline: Puppets to promote US ideology


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