China uses Russia's playbook to head off dissent

Putin xi fingerReutersPigeons fly past a poster depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (R) pasted on the Brancusi Atelier by activists from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to mark the 20th annual World Press Freedom day in Paris, May 3, 2013.

President Xi Jinping wants his people to know that the greatest threat to China is an insidious export from the West — ideas that could lead to a Colour Revolution.

“The one non-neglectable factor [in the development of] colour revolutions in these countries is the spreading of Western ideology, especially from the US,” wrote Xu Songwen, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Sunday in The People’s Daily (via the South China Morning Post).

The People’s Daily is a Chinese Communist Party paper known to reflect the sentiments of Jinping’s regime.

Songwen wasn’t alone either. Four other academics also shared their thoughts on the dangers of Colour Revolutions in the same issue. The message was clear. There will be no non-violent political movements in China. There will be no regime change. This will not be Lebanon or Ukraine in 2005. This will not be the Middle East in 2011.

Don’t even think about it.

That’s where the danger is, after all — in the thinking.

China has been systematically shutting out Western ideals from think tanks, school curriculums and higher learning for some time now, but this is the first time a government mouthpiece has made it clear that these thoughts are an intentional aggression from the West.

The basic gist of all of the papers in Sunday’s People’s Daily is fairly simple. It’s like this: the proliferation of Western democratic ideals are a Cold War tactic that helped bring about the end of the former Soviet Union.

The ideas bring unrest and discontent to populations, and ultimately lead to bloodshed. They also tend to end in failure (see: The Arab Spring). Those who foment this kind of unrest are enemies of the state.

There is “a high price to pay for nations that fall into the trap of colour revolutions,” said one article, according to the South China Morning Post.

Besides, said a People’s Daily commentary that ran on Friday, the Chinese Communist Party is “rigid enough to protect against threats, and resilient against internal problems and external shocks.”

So don’t even try it.

Xi jinping vladimir putinReutersRussia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) and China’s President Xi Jinping (C) arrive for a festive concert marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015.

China is taking a play right out of Russia’s book with this one. In March The Security Council of Russia railed against the U.S. security strategy writing: “In relation to Russia, there is a high probability of the U.S. using extensively advanced means for ‘colour revolutions’ to eliminate unwanted political regimes.”

So where do colour revolutions start?

Aside from schools and think tanks, they start on the internet. The People’s Liberation Army knows that all too well, having released a chilling memo last month that said that “the internet has become the main battlefront for struggle in the ideological area.”

Western hostile forces and a small number of “ideological traitors” in our country use the network, and relying on computers, mobile phones and other such information terminals, maliciously attack our Party, blacken the leaders who founded the New China, vilify our heroes, and arouse mistaken thinking trends of historical nihilism, with the ultimate goal of using “universal values” to mislead us, using “constitutional democracy” to throw us into turmoil, use “colour revolutions” to overthrow us, use negative public opinion and rumours to oppose us, and use “de-partification and depoliticization of the military” to upset us.

Hours after these papers appeared in The People’s Daily, Hong Kong authorities said they’d taken nine people into custody for potentially attempting to plan an attack on a legislative building on the island. Officials think that they may be advocates of “localism” — the belief that the main land should stay out of Hong Kong affairs, according to the New York Times.

Bad timing.

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