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Hong Kong subversion case: What you’re not being told

THE BIZARRE TALE of a 10-step plot to escalate chaos in Hong Kong until there was blood on the streets and destruction of the economy came to an end today.

And the care taken by the judges shone a positive light on the Hong Kong judiciary – as did their openness in releasing their paperwork to public scrutinity.

Most participants (31) in this important subversion case had already pleaded guilty—and a court this morning found the same was true for the majority (14) of the remaining ones. Two were acquitted.

Details of the case are below—and read to the end for five important conclusions you won’t read anywhere else.


The plotters aimed to use loopholes in the city’s governance system to create what they called “a constitutional weapon of mass destruction” that would paralyze Hong Kong.

A specific step in the plan was to side-line pro-peace opposition members in favor of pro-violence radicals.

Participants were asked to sign a pledge (titled “Inked Without Regret”) that if they got into the Legislative Council they would follow instructions to act as a bloc to veto the city’s budget and freeze all government spending: the money that kept schools, hospitals and utilities working.

This would create a state of emergency, escalate violence, and cause so much chaos on the streets that it would force China’s leadership to take control of Hong Kong—in what organizers hoped would be “a bloody suppression”.


This in turn would enable the US to declare that Beijing had ended “one country two systems” which the west could use to justify hitting Hong Kong and mainland China with political and economic sanctions.

The resultant destruction of Hong Kong’s economy would cause immense harm to the population of the city, but plotters argued that it would be worth it under the “we burn, you burn” principle, which saw economic catastrophe as a desirable step towards their political goals.

The court heard that the scheme evolved from initial plans in December of 2019. It was then outlined in detail by academic Benny Tai in a plan entitled “10 steps to real mutual destruction”.

Various versions were printed between April and May 2020 in Apple Daily, a newspaper run by anti-China campaigner Jimmy Lai and his right hand man Mark Simon, a former US intelligence officer.


But Hong Kong investigators became suspicious about mysterious sums of money moving around among individual plotters, with sums ranging from HK$4,000 to HK$290,000.

In the end, judges agreed to freeze more than HK$1.6 million of unexplained cash.

During the opening steps of the plan, a public popularity contest to select candidates, 47 participants were charged with conspiring to commit subversion. Thirty-one pleaded guilty and 16 denied the charges.

Today, 14 of those were found guilty, while two were acquitted.


ONE: Western media reports say the arrests were for “organizing primaries”. This is not true. They were detained on suspicion of “conspiring to subvert state powers”, a crime recognized worldwide, and used thousands of times MORE in western countries than it has been in Hong Kong.

TWO: The case is difficult for the west to use against China. That’s because most of the people arrested pleaded guilty, including the prime mover, Benny Tai. This meant the facts were not in dispute.

    Furthermore, four of the people gave evidence for the prosecution, which meant that there was no shortage of detailed evidence confirming the prosecution’s case.

    THREE: The mixed verdicts—with two people acquitted—are also a problem for Hong Kong’s critics, including Jimmy Lai and Mark Simon, who have repeatedly said that the city no longer has a rule of law, and no one can win national security cases.

    Indeed, one of the men who was acquitted, Lawrence Lau, stood outside the court today and praised the judgment. “If there is any star in this case, this judgement should be the star,” he told the scrum of reporters.

    The judgment—a huge document of almost 300 pages, was made publicly available for anyone to read. What comes across in the document is just how much care the judges took in defining every term used, and the wealth of references to other cases around the world.

    FOUR: In terms of timing – 2019 and 2020 – this Hong Kong scheme coincides with a long list of anti-China activities which involve east-west politics, anti-China activism, and lots of unexplained cash.

    The Hong Kong people are rightly concerned about the involvement in the city of numerous “three-initial” pro-western groups, including OTF, NED, and RFA, contributing millions of dollars for anti-government activism in Hong Kong.  

    The U.S. strictly bans overseas political interference in its own country, but has spent massively, for decades, on sponsoring political interference around the world.

    FIVE: But here’s the biggest irony of all.

    Another attempt to organize a series of steps that would bring legal government processes to a complete halt took place from 3 November 2020 to 6 January 2021 in the United States, culminating in the storming of the Capitol Hill building in Washington DC.

    The media uniformly see that as a bad thing.

    It appears that from most western journalists’ point of view, violent insurgency in the US is bad, violent insurgency in Hong Kong is good.

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