Pro-democracy protests are a “form of warfare employed by the West to destabilize certain countries” and the peaceful Hong Kong protest movement is an American-fabricated attempt to weaken China from within, the Communist Party’s People’s Daily suggested on Monday.
The People’s Daily does not deviate from Chinese government opinions. Its column accusing American officials of deliberately emboldening pro-democracy protesters in the southern autonomous city was published in tandem with yet another rant from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying accusing Hong Kong protesters of being American puppets, not a legitimate representation of the sentiments of the people of the city.
Hong Kong police violently attacked thousands of protesters throughout the city this weekend, cornering them in mass transit train stations and spraying tear gas into enclosed areas. In one instance, protesters believe police shot a bean bag at a protester’s eye and shattered her face, reportedly requiring six hours of surgery to begin to repair. Despite the violence from the Chinese-backed Hong Kong government, at least 5,000 protesters flooded Hong Kong International Airport Monday calling for peace and political freedom, forcing the airport to shut down for the day.
The protesters, while largely peaceful, have faced mob attacks by individuals tied to Hong Kong’s triad mafias and increased physical attacks from police. They have five key demands: direct election of all lawmakers, the withdrawal of a bill that would allow Communist China to extradite people Beijing deems criminals, an independent probe into police brutality, freedom for political prisoners, and a government statement withdrawing the designation of the June 12 protest as a “riot.”
Protests began in response to the extradition bill in early June and entered their tenth week this weekend.
“What is going on in Hong Kong? There is already evidence of interference by foreign forces. As Chinese officials have pointed out, the situation in Hong Kong bears the features of a ‘color revolution,’” the People’s Daily alleged on Monday.
“Color revolution” is a term used for the various anti-Russian movements in Eastern Europe in the mid-2000s, most prominently the Georgia’s Rose Revolution and Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, both of which saw the rise of pro-Western leaders. Russia responded to the Rose Revolution by invading and colonizing parts of Georgia. Russia responded to the Orange Revolution by poisoning its leader, Viktor Yushchenko, then invading and colonizing parts of Ukraine.
China regularly uses the term “color revolution” to mean any pro-democracy movement regardless of circumstances, leadership, or ideology so long as, according to China, America supports it. In Monday’s People’s Daily piece, the newspaper likens the pro-U.S. Eastern European movements with the “Arab Spring,” a series of Islamist revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East.
“Color revolutions,” the People’s Daily claims, “are emerging as a new form of warfare employed by the West to destabilize certain countries.” The newspaper’s evidence is that Russian officials “accused the US and its allies of engineering revolutions and uprisings in key areas around the world to destabilize governments and replace existing regimes to gain power and resources.”
The propaganda outlet insists that bringing “color revolutions” to China would be a disaster because the Arab Spring did not lead to liberal societies, despite the fact that the leaders of the Arab Spring did not seek to establish liberal societies. Terrorist organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood openly cheered the demise of governments in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected president of Egypt, rapidly began imposing sharia, the Islamic law, on the country despite its sizeable Coptic Christian population. In Libya, protesters overthrew Muammar Qaddafi, a dictator comfortable with supporting Shiite Islamists, seeking to impose a Sunni Islamist dictatorship. The nation remains today an ungoverned battlefield in a state of civil war.
The rise of Sunni Islamists in Libya, the People’s Daily argued, shows that “the turmoil caused by color revolutions is long-lasting and America’s obsession with fanning the flames of color revolutions simply makes it look nasty in the eyes of the world.”
During her daily press briefing on Monday, Hua, the foreign ministry spokeswoman, similarly blamed the United States for the Hong Kong protests. Her remarks responding to a question asking if the CIA had orchestrated the protests is the
“The US has been making various Hong Kong-related accusations that are wanton, fact-distorting and inflammatory,” Hua claimed. “Some senior US politicians and diplomatic officials met and engaged with anti-China rabble-rousers in Hong Kong, criticized China unreasonably, propped up violent and illegal activities and undermined Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.”
“These facts are only too obvious. I’d like to ask the US this question again: what is the true intention behind your behaviors relating to Hong Kong?” Hua asked.
China’s government arms have repeatedly referred to the protests in Hong Kong as a “color revolution.”
“Supported by Western forces, certain extremists in Hong Kong have spared no effort to instill in Hong Kong society such an idea: To tackle all problems, Hong Kong must be more ‘democratic,’ more street demonstrators are needed, and violence should be resorted to, if necessary,” the Global Times, another state newspaper, asserted in July. “Nonetheless, Hong Kong is a developed society. With its tradition of valuing the rule of law, its high quality citizens, and the backing of the motherland, copying the ‘color revolution’ commonly seen in backward areas [Eastern Europe] will definitely be resisted in Hong Kong.”
The Hong Kong protests have “clear ‘color revolution’ characteristics,” Zhang Xiaoming, the head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office for the Communist Party, said at an emergency meeting to address the protests last week.
“If the violence and chaos are allowed to continue, not only the safety of Hong Kong citizens’ lives and property will be endangered, the governance authority of the SAR government, the cornerstone of the rule of law in Hong Kong, the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and the ‘one country, two systems’ will also be destroyed,” he said.
Story cited here.