Party warns of attempts to foment revolution after rights lawyer trial

By Fan Lingzhi and Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/11 19:28:39

The five-minutes video juxtaposes images of Syrian refugees, Chinese soldiers, and Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-Wen.

A video warning people to watch out for "color revolutions" went viral online on August 1, China's Army Day.

The video, which was posted by the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) on its official Sina Weibo account, says the country is facing a threat from a US-led color revolution.

Color revolutions are characterized by their use of civil resistance to protest regimes seen as corrupt or authoritarian, usually with the goal of greater democracy. The name comes from the fact that they often use a color or a flower as their symbol.

The five-minute video, which groups together many groups the government sees as subversive, argues that human rights lawyers and forces supporting "Tibetan independence" and "Hong Kong independence" - represented by Hong Kong pan-democracy activist Joshua Wong - are using China's internal and external problems such as the Diaoyu Islands disputes and the South China Sea arbitration to jeopardize social stability.

The video claims the US is behind all of these problems, claiming that the country is attempting to overthrow the Chinese government.

The video was viewed over 10 million times within 24 hours while the hashtag "warn color revolutions"on Sina Weibo has been viewed nearly 300 million times.

Video push

Lei Xiying, one of the people behind the video, who is currently pursuing a PhD at Australian National University, told the Global Times that he hopes the video will reach lots of people.

He claimed that he was surprised that the video was viewed so many times and said that "the reason why it won great popularity among the public may be related to the sentencing of lawyers from the Fengrui Law Firm."

Zhou Shifeng, chief lawyer at Beijing-based Fengrui Law Firm, was convicted of "subverting State power" and sentenced to seven years in prison on August 4 by the Second Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

On Wednesday, Hu Shigen, the leader of an underground church, was also sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison after being convicted of the same crime at the Tianjin court.

Zhai Yanmin, described as an "illegal protest organizer" and an "unemployed Beijing resident" by the court, was handed a three-year sentence with a four-year reprieve for the same crime as Zhou and Hu on August 2.

The CYLC posted several videos online at the end of the trial.

On the day of the trial, the CYLC posted a video on its Weibo account which attacked foreign journalists that went to Tianjin to cover the case as unprofessional and accused US diplomats on the scene of organizing protests outside the court.

Also on August 4, Sichuan-based rap group CD Rev posted a video on Weibo warning of color revolutions. The group's work, which has attacked the US, has in past been promoted and supported by the CYLC, according to news portal

Warning from the headlines

Lei blames the turmoil which some Middle Eastern states have faced in recent years on the pro-democracy movements in those countries and claims China could face a  similar fate.

"We gave an interpretation about color revolutions from the perspectives of the youngsters and are trying to present color revolutions to them with diverse methods," Lei said.

Alongside the video, which juxtaposes images of Syrian refugees, Chinese soldiers, and Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-Wen, also lists countries that have faced turmoil on account of "US meddling" such as Iraq and Syria.

"To those people who are plotting a color revolution: If you want to turn China into a place like this, you will have to do it over my dead body," read the video's subtitles.

The Chinese military have also promoted the video. Lei told the Global Times he believes that a strong military can serve as a guard against color revolutions caused by outside influences.

"If the army is powerful enough, pressure from outside will naturally be reduced. Therefore, releasing the video on Army Day is right," Lei said.

"This video is a reflection of Chinese youngsters' stance," Jin Canrong, deputy director of the Center of American Studies at Renmin University of China, told the Global Times previously.

"In recent years, alongside the booming of the new media industry, voices that spread Western values and attack the Chinese government and political system have been frequently seen on many new media platforms, especially those that are controlled by capital," Jin argued.

Newspaper headline: These colors don’t run

Posted in: Society

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