'Kong Tsung-gan'

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Person.png 'Kong Tsung-gan' TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(psychological operation, propaganda)
Interests • Amnesty International
• Hong Kong
• A Gay Girl In Damascus
• National Democratic Institute
An alleged prominent Hong Kong pundit and organizer of anti-China activities, who Western corporate media used as a go-to source for quotes. Later revealed as Brian Patrick Kern, a US citizen,

'Kong Tsung-gan was an alleged prominent Hong Kong pundit and organizer of anti-China activities, who Western corporate media used as a go-to source for quotes. In August 2020, it was revealed the Twitter activist was in fact Brian Patrick Kern, a US citizen pretending to be native grassroots activist[1] to demand harsh sanctions on Hong Kong.


Kong live-tweeted[2] during protests, posted incendiary commentary[3] about the Communist Party of China (CPC), likened the Hong Kong “struggle” to Tibet and Xinjiang, and begged the United States to introduce sanction bills[4] like the Hong Kong Safe Harbor and Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Acts. This begging to punish Hong Kong, apparently from a Hong-Kong resident, made Kong Tsung-gan one of corporate Western media’s go-to sources for soundbites.

He has been described as an “author” (CNN[5], Globe and Mail[6], Time[7]), “writer and activist” (New York Times[8], Washington Post[9]), “activist and author” (LA Times[10]),“activist” (AFP[11], Al Jazeera[12]), “writer, educator and activist” (Guardian[13]), “political writer” (Foreign Policy)[14], “writer” (Vice News[15]), and “Hong Kong writer and activist” in an op-ed posted by the Nikkei Asian Review[16].

Kong has also been cited as a “Hong Kong journalist and rights activist” by Radio Free Asia[17] and as a “rights activist and author” by Voice of America[18], two subsidiaries of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM).

Kong Tsung-gan and Brian Patrick Kern (right)


Brain Kern grew up in Minnesota and completed his PhD in Comparative Literature at Brown University in 1996. In 1998, he began teaching[19] at the Red Cross Nordic United World College (UWCRCN) in Norway, where he met his wife, Yatman Cheng.

Cheng graduated from UWCRCN in 2002 and received a Jardine Foundation scholarship to attend Oxford. In 2003 or 2004, as a university student, she volunteered with the Tibetan Children’s Villages in India on a trip organized by her college and led by Brian Kern.

In 2004, Cheng became a summer intern[20] at the Hong Kong think tank Civic Exchange, which has received funding from the National Democratic Institute[21], a subsidiary of the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy. Cheng and Kern lived in London in 2007, where Kern worked for ]]Amnesty International]][22] as a member of their education team[23].

In 2008, they moved to Hong Kong, where Kern began teaching at the Chinese International School and established its human rights club.

Twitter account not suspended

In contrast to twitter accounts merely accused of being Russian, Chinese, Iranian etc 'bots', the Kong Tsung-gan twitter account was still in operation in November 2020, nor did it have a big warning label.

The incident is similar to other hoaxes following the same pattern, like A Gay Girl In Damascus.

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  1. https://thegrayzone.com/2020/08/08/hong-kong-western-media-yellowfacing-amnesty/#more-37402
  2. https://twitter.com/KongTsungGan/status/1264414255052320769?s=20
  3. https://twitter.com/KongTsungGan/status/1169014972426399745?s=20
  4. https://twitter.com/KongTsungGan/status/1290686118762078208?s=20
  5. https://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/01/asia/hong-kong-protest-umbrella/index.html
  6. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-as-hong-kong-passes-anthem-bill-people-vow-to-defy-ban-on-tiananmen/
  7. https://time.com/5615570/hong-kong-youth-protesters-democracy/
  8. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/08/world/asia/hong-kong-umbrella-revolution-occupy-central.html
  9. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/hong-kong-court-convicts-nine-activists-behind-pro-democracy-umbrella-movement/2019/04/08/a16e524c-5a75-11e9-b8e3-b03311fbbbfe_story.html
  10. https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-02-27/hong-kong-jimmy-lai-protests-arrests
  11. https://news.yahoo.com/hong-kong-seethes-one-protesters-back-foot-043137427.html
  12. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/06/protest-anniversary-lam-hong-kong-bear-chaos-200609060205234.html
  13. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/15/hong-kong-with-coronavirus-curbed-protests-may-return
  14. https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/25/what-happened-hong-kong-elections/
  15. https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/4agdnb/hong-kong-cops-arent-sorry-for-pepper-spraying-a-politician-right-in-the-face
  16. https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Hong-Kong-protests-one-year-on-did-they-achieve-anything
  17. https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/oaths-04262017104619.html
  18. https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/surveillance-common-some-hong-kong-pro-democracy-activists
  19. http://jankozak.tripod.com/references.htm
  20. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
  21. https://civic-exchange.org/dev/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/AR2012_en.pdf
  22. https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10020701/
  23. https://www.academia.edu/11942482/Learning_from_our_Experience_Human_Rights_Education_Monitoring_and_Evaluation_Toolkit