Thursday, October 20, 2016

Meet Belinda Winterbourne – the person behind the new crackdown on overseas NGO’s in China

In the news

In todays’ SCMP is an article on Hong Kong’s NGOs feeling isolated and confused by mainland China’s new law restricting their activities, but no one has bothered to find out why these new laws are being implemented.

A little bit of research will show this new law is linked to the so-called ‘709 crackdown’ on Human Rights Lawyers, all of which was triggered by revelations of the conspiracy in Hong Kong between the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and local pan-democratic legislators which took place on 15 November 2009 to trigger the 2010 defacto civil referendum.

The main culprit and the person responsible for the crackdown on Human Rights lawyers and the implementation of the new NGO laws in China is Belinda Winterbourne, NDI program manager in Hong Kong from 2006 to 2012.

The face that launched a thousand crackdowns
Belinda Winterbourne, NDI Program Manager, Hong Kong (2006 to 2012)
The SCMP article: ‘Hong Kong’s NGOs isolated and confused by mainland China’s new law restricting activities, research finds’

According to the article, in a study by the China Philanthropy Research Institute and China Global Philanthropy Institute, many non-governmental organisations in Hong Kong felt alienated and uncertain after the ‘Law on Management of Domestic Activities of Overseas Non-governmental Organisations’ was passed in April, under which all overseas NGOs must register with and obtain approval from the police rather than the Ministry of Civil Affairs, which their domestic counterparts must do. The requirement takes effect next year.

The mainland’s adoption of the law governing overseas NGOs has sent a chill throughout the sector in Hong Kong that operates there, with some groups saying they had stopped work over the border. They said it was especially troubling the law categorised NGOs in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as overseas groups, even though they were based in China. Organisations interviewed for the study said they felt mainland government agencies had undergone a change in attitude.

The conspiracy which led to the 709 crackdown and the Law on Management of Domestic Activities of Overseas Non-governmental Organisations

On 15 November 2009 a conspiracy took place between pan-democrat legislators and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Hong Kong to discuss plans to trigger the de-facto ‘referendum’ in January 2010. The conspiracy was videotaped and put on YouTube in a series of eleven short videos (Part 1/11 to Part 11/11).

The main players in this conspiracy were: Cyd HO Sau-lan (何秀蘭) and Gary FAN Kwok-wai (范國威), Hong Kong pan-democratic legislators, YEUNG Kai-cheung (楊繼昌) of the League of Social Democrats and Belinda Winterbourne, Program Manager and Stephen Tong, Program Officer of the NDI in Hong Kong.  Here’s a link to full details of this conspiracy:

Here’s what Belinda Winterbourne said in Video 10/11 between 8.28 to 9.19 minutes in the video:

This is the moment Belinda Winterbourne said the words that launched the NGO crackdown in China
Christian raised the point that how much time do we have. Just now he mentioned you know ‘til January for example, but let’s say if we did want to conduct a civil referendum let’s say between now and the end of the (inaudible), how long does it usually take to educate the public on civil referendum, cos I presume that you’d have to do a lot of publicity prior to the actual exercise umm and educate them why we are doing this and you know how does that vote count eventually.

These words are important, because Beijing has a copy of these video tapes and they are directly responsible for the 709 crackdown on Human Rights Lawyers and implementation of the Law on Management of Domestic Activities of Overseas Non-governmental Organisations. You can check on the subversive organizations, individuals and groups in China which are illegally receiving funds from the American Government here:

The reason NGOs in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are categorized as overseas groups, even though they were based in China is because the NDI has offices in Hong Kong and even though it claims to be an NGO, has illegally established itself as a company in Hong Kong.

Other NGO’s or groups which are based in Hong Kong and which have been illegally funded by the American Government to destabilize China include Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, SynergyNet, Civic Exchange and others. You can check on the illegal funding by the American Government of NGO’s and other groups in Hong Kong engaged in subversive activities here:

This is why the Chinese Government has categorized NGOs in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as overseas groups under the Law on Management of Domestic Activities of Overseas Non-governmental Organisations.

Big thank you to the NDI and Belinda Winterbourne

On behalf of all of the Human Rights lawyers who have been incarcerated in China and all of the NGO’s whose lives have been made a misery, let’s all say a big than you to the National Democratic Institute, with a special thanks to Belinda Winterbourne.

Big thank you to Belinda Winterbourne
Your stupid acts have made life a misery for thousands!
And perhaps something for the NDI and its masters to consider – your stupid actions in Hong Kong have had and will continue to have far reaching consequences!

If you run an NGO and you want to operate in China, here’s a checklist on how to avoid problems

The Law on Management of Domestic Activities of Overseas Non-governmental Organisations was implemented because the American Government, through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is funding subversive activities in Hong Kong. Its lead agency in Hong Kong is the National Democratic Institute (NDI). If you have received funding from the NED, its’ Core Grantees or any of its associates, then you are definitely in trouble. Here’s a quick checklist of the NED and its’ Core Grantees:

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) allocates US Government funds to the following four Core Grantees:

1. National Democratic Institute (NDI), representing the Democratic Party,
2. International Republican Institute (IRI), representing the Republican Party,
3. Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), representing the business sector,
4. Solidarity Center (previously known as the Free Trade Union Institute, then American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS)), representing the labor sector.

To be on the safe side, you need to check your donor list to make sure none of these institutes are, or have been donors of yours. You also need to check with all of your local and overseas donors to make sure none of them has any connections with, has contributed funds to, or is being funded by any of them. 

If you are receiving money from any of these institutes, you will fall foul of the new law, because the NED is funding activities to destabilize China in an attempt to contain its growing influence and if you are in any way connected to them, you will be considered a ‘subversive organisation’.

Photo Credit

Belinda Winterbourne. Vic Perton on Flickr.


  1. Why call then NGO when clearly they are GO funded by US government, operate under US government control, and have only US interest in mind? The "color revolution" model with training civil society to escalate political violence, destabilize society and law, as a form of asymmetric warfare, was already demonstrated in Egypt. Umbrella, sunflower are no different.

  2. Very nice your blog good information and NGO Realted

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