July 5, 2023: Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC), based in Washington, DC, released a new research report, The Counter-Lobby Confidential: How Beltway Insiders Do the Hong Kong Government’s Bidding. The report also details broader attempts by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government and its allies to influence American politics, media and civil society.
HKDC combined the report with the launch of the SAR Government Lobbying Influence Database, which provides on individual lobbyists and Washington-based lobbying firms hired by SAR-affiliated entities and proxies like the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices (HKETO) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). The database reveals the meetings that these lobbying firms have scheduled with US Congressional staff members and other meetings. According to the database, HKTDC and other SAR proxies have paid over $35 million in the past four years to the lobbying firms and policy makers in the US.
In its report, HKDC called on:
- The US Congress to pass the HKETO Certification Act.
- President Biden to sign the bill into law and, using its authority, revoke HKETO’s quasi-diplomatic privileges in the United States.
- The Biden administration to more strictly enforce the Foreign Agents Registration Act and issue new guidelines on SAR government-related interactions with executive-branch officials.
- U.S. cultural and business institutions to carefully scrutinize interactions with SAR government-related entities out of human-rights concerns.