The beginning of the 21st century witnessed the color revolutions in several countries such as Ukraine and Georgia. Since then, street politics aimed at toppling legitimate regimes has taken place in other countries. The revolts in the Arab Spring that swept West Asia and North Africa were also color revolutions of this kind.
The color revolutions have dragged these countries into infighting and destitution, triggering alerts of many developing countries, especially those in their transition period. Many scholars and officials in China don't believe a color revolution will take place in big countries and lack vigilance. But a closer look at the causes of color revolutions proves otherwise.
Countries that have experienced color revolutions are characterized by the fact that their economic development is stagnant and that wealth gap and unfair distribution are prominent. Meanwhile, their ideology differs from Western countries, but they are partly open to Western-style freedom and democracy, and are not fully prepared for the potential risks of street politics.
As for China, there have been various social conflicts despite rapid economic and social development. Given the emergence of the elite interest groups, the prevalence of corruption, and the fact that some opposition forces fan the flames on social media, mass incidents that target the government have been constant. The conditions for a color revolution have already been brewed.
Meanwhile, pro-West political groups have been established. These forces collude with foreign interest groups thanks to the popularity of social media. In addition, the agents of foreign forces have been formed. The number of the elite who are influenced by Western values is growing. These people can become the fifth column when external forces plot a color revolution in China.
The US and Japan view China as their main strategic rival. They not only encircle China from the outside, but also try every means to mess it up from within, such as initiating a color revolution or creating social disturbances.
Once a mass incident takes place due to mismanagement by the government and causes subsequent economic hard times, they will definitely launch a color revolution that aims at toppling China's ruling Party and setting up a pro-Western regime. Once a color revolution takes place, the country's peaceful political environment will be destroyed, with the risks of political split and economic decay. If so, the hope that China will rise as a world power will be lost again.
Those who wish for a powerful China should keep highly alert to any color revolution. Chinese authorities should eliminate the danger brought by pro-Western agents when easing social conflicts and striking at corruption. We can learn from Russia by introducing a "foreign agent law," so as to block the way for infiltration of external forces and eliminate the possibilities of a color revolution.
The author is vice chairman of the China Research Institute of China-Russia Relations History. firstname.lastname@example.org