In recent years, a series of countries have one after another seen a “color revolution” break out, with political power changing hands and the political situation suffering unrest, drawing the attention of the whole world. This type of so-called revolution in which the United States directs the overthrow of the regime in power is worth calling for our highest level of attention.
'Color Revolutions' Have Regular Patterns that Can Be Explored
This color revolution is primarily a kind of coup d’état which uses the non-violent method of “politics on the streets” to subvert the government in power. The sudden changes that occurred in the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s is a classic example of this, and has been subsequently repeated in a number of Eastern European, Central Asian and North African countries. As a result of the opposition group seizing power, often using a kind of color as their symbol during the course of their subversion of the regime, these kinds of events are known as color revolutions. In general, there are two kinds of color revolutions: the first kind involves changing the nature of a socialist country’s regime, taking the socialist dictatorship of the proletariat and turning it into a capitalist dictatorship of the bourgeois. For example, the massive change in political circumstances that took place in the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries during the '80s and '90s of the last century. This kind of color revolution is in fact what we commonly call peaceful transformation. The other kind occurs when a capitalist country’s regime is turned into a pro-U.S. regime. In the present century, the events that have occurred in some countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and North Africa fit this bill.
Although these two kinds of color revolutions have different characteristics, they nonetheless share some commonalities and regular patterns that we can explore. As to the color revolutions that have already occurred, we can break them up into four steps.
The first step is to fabricate public discussion that subverts the regime in power. With the United States in the background supporting and manipulating the color revolution, all are like this. This sort of ideological activity can be separated into two kinds. The first is demonization of the regime in power, gathering together all the mistakes and drawbacks of the work done by the government and exaggerating it, inciting the dissatisfaction of the masses. Sometimes the revolution will take hold of a specifically prominent event and repeatedly disseminate information about it, leaving the masses with a deep impression of the drawbacks inherent with the regime in power.
The other kind is through the use of mass media propaganda and public discussion, instilling the public with American values, beautifying American-style democracy and freedom, causing the great masses to imperceptibly begin to identify with the United States’ political-economic system. The purpose of this is to establish the ideological basis for a pro-American regime.
The second step is to establish the political organization for the opposition. On the foundation of fabrication of public opinion and confusing the ideology of the people, the political organization for the opposition is established, an important step for a color revolution. First one sets up non-government organizations, then one can successfully establish an opposition party. In socialist countries, agreeing to the establishment of so-called anti-party non-official organizations is in actuality allowing for the conduct of organized and open anti-communist and anti-socialist activities. Following the change in circumstances, on the premise of non-official organizations, it is inevitable that an opposition party will be established, and agreement to establish an opposition party signifies the realization of a multi-party system. Once a multi-party system is realized, it is a matter of course that the Communist Party’s position of leadership will be abolished, that being a condition of the bourgeois party’s seizure of power. Consequently, China must establish strict controls and management of non-government organizations, especially those supported by the West. We must only allow them to carry out activities within the purview of the law and our constitution, and absolutely not permit them to promote anti-party and anti-socialist activities. Of special importance, we must strictly manage the use and sources of capital for Western aid. As for these illegal parties or organizations, we must resolutely ban them. In this aspect, we must not hesitate or appease the response of the West.
The third step is to seek out liberals and other pro-U.S. elements with influence and an ability to draw a crowd to act as leaders of the opposition. Gathering up those striving to overthrow the present regime and waiting for the right moment, they then launch their assault on the government, organizing a new regime with them as its leaders. It is best if these people have undergone training by the United States, or they are in close touch with an American organization, and are clearly slanted toward the United States. The man who personally broke up the Soviet Union, Gorbachev, was for the Western powers a sought out “inside man.” Margaret Thatcher admitted that prior to Gorbachev’s arrival, the West was unable to actualize its intentions of undermining the Soviet Union. The West estimated that “after a person we have assisted has become the likely successor, with his help we might realize our ambitions. This person was Mikhail Gorbachev. My advisers’ evaluation of him was that he was imprudent, easy to manipulate, and particularly vain. He had excellent relations with much of the Soviet elite, and consequently he was able to take power through our assistance.”* Sure enough, with the aid of the Western powers, Gorbachev assumed the position of general secretary of the Soviet Union. In accordance with the demands of the West he led the Soviet Union on the road to ruin step by step.
The fourth step is to utilize sudden events, or the opportunity of elections to fly the banner of democracy and liberty; organizing demonstrations, marches, gatherings, worker and student strikes, the occupation of public squares, attacks on government bodies, as well as other activities of street politics, forcing the government to hand over power. Sudden events are sometimes incredibly small incidents (Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” was the result of a clash between a peddler and its equivalent to China’s Chengguan) which have undergone organized exaggeration, transforming them into big incidents. Thus, these little events cannot be taken lightly; they must be dealt with carefully, cutting off the opportunity for sinister elements to manipulate these small issues. Street politics are an unreasonable one-way street. Everything the opposition does is democratic, anything that a government does which fails to conform to America’s plans, short of stepping down from power, is undemocratic. When the opposition receives the smaller share of votes in an election, they say that there has been fraud and a new election must be held, if this new election is not held it is undemocratic. When the opposition carries out a multitude of illegal activities (including attacking the presidential palace and parliament building) it is all democratic. Should the government move to prevent this, they are undemocratic. In sum, this involves utilizing democracy as a means of restraining governments that do not fall in line with America’s schemes, while encouraging pro-American opposition to act with a free hand.
It may be said that the color revolution has ideological activity as its foundation, organized opposition under prominent figures as its crux, sudden events as opportunities to be utilized, and establishment of a pro-U.S. regime as its objective.
America has a deep understanding of the time-tested trick of the color revolution. Following the color revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared in April 2005 when meeting with a representative of the Belarussian opposition: “Now is the time for change in Belarus.”** She proposed four main routes of attack: support for an independent media as well as the establishment of a new mass media, speeding up the development of mass movements, the formation of an opposition league, and selection of a unified presidential candidate by the opposition to compete with incumbent Alexander Lukashenko in the 2006 presidential election.
Everything Is Manipulated in the Background by the United States, Benefits Are Received from its Government
Color revolutions have occurred in many different countries, and at first glance they are the result of local citizens fighting for democracy. However, in the background there is always a dark hand manipulating the situation, receiving benefits from the United States, falling in line with American strategic demands. It can be said that every color revolution is a piece on the chessboard of America’s greater scheme to obtain global hegemony. Without American plotting, support and guidance, there would be no color revolutions.
America is an imperialist country whose rule is monopolized by the bourgeois, her fundamental interests lie in external expansion and engaging in hegemony. Following the conclusion of the Cold War, the United States obtained the position of sole superpower and proceeded to take clear steps toward its aim of becoming a global hegemon, in addition to establishing a unipolar world. The balance of global political power was thrown askew, allowing American hegemony to bring forth greater levels of aggression, invasiveness and risk. Former President Bill Clinton said, “If the world wants to avoid suffering from the disasters of the past, it needs a leader, and there can only be one leader,” adding that America “possesses the most capability for leading the world.”** After 9/11, George W. Bush openly stated, “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”** This once again laid bare the brash and overbearing nature of the United States. If America’s position as sole superpower does not undergo fundamental change soon then this kind of global hegemony will not change.
There are two ways to bring about hegemony. The first method is to use armed force, as America did in Iraq. The other way is to use peaceful means, sliding into the goals set by the United States as smoothly as velvet. As experience demonstrates, the net cost of the former is too high, far exceeding the anticipated return, whereas the latter method comes with little cost and great results. In addition, the resistance to this method is negligible, making it easy to obtain the approval of international society. America’s invasion of and war in Iraq cost over $200 billion, the lives of more than 1,500 of its soldiers, offended several of its allies, and in the end was unable to achieve all of its goals, instead leaving a multitude of repercussions. As for the Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution, throughout the process America needed to invest only around $200 million, it never needed to place any of its personnel in harm’s way, it saw major success, and even managed to win the combined support of its allies. In this way, as a means of realizing its ambition of being a global leader and hegemon, overturning anti-U.S. or unfriendly regimes as well as supporting U.S.-friendly regimes, outside of a last resort use of force, America’s first choice is the peaceful method of a color revolution. A series of color revolutions has occurred under American direction in accordance with her needs as sole global hegemon. Naturally this is only America’s desire, and will occasionally backfire. As for the essence of American imperialism, one must have a clear understanding and refrain from holding on to fantasies that are not in accordance with the facts. When facing the danger of American-operated color revolutions, one ought to maintain a high level of awareness and not lower one’s guard.
The color revolutions carried out by the United States share a common element in that they all fly the banner of democracy. America first assigns those regimes that are not in accordance with its wishes the label of undemocratic, dictator-ruled, inhumane, and a regime that violates human rights. Afterward, the U.S. encourages the opposition to come out and demand democracy. This is a very simple way of deluding people. In the late '80s and early '90s of the last century, during the massive transformation of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries, America used this technique. At the turn of this century, in Yugoslavia, Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and later on in the North African countries, America was still using this technique. For instance, on Oct. 7, 1989, in East Germany’s capital, Berlin, demonstrators that had the support of America gathered outside the banquet hall where celebrations were taking place for the national anniversary. What was their cry? Democracy. On Oct. 9, 1989, when a 70,000-strong protest broke out in Leipzig, what was the demand put forward by the protesters? Democracy. The Soviet Union and Eastern European countries’ socialist regimes were all brought down by the assault launched by the street politics of democracy.
Entering the 21st century, what did America use against the anti-U.S. regime of Milosevic, the pro-U.S., but not quite thorough enough regime of Georgia, and the former regime of Kyrgyzstan? They too were forced to step down through use of the tricks of democracy and fair elections, replaced with obedient and entirely pro-U.S. regimes. For example, during the 2004 Ukrainian election crisis, when supporters of the opposition were asked, “Why do you support Yushchenko?” quite a few people responded, “To support Yushchenko is to support democracy.” America also wants to use this technique against China. In this century, prior to a planned visit to China, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that, “China’s democratic progress ought to have a schedule.”** She was so eager she could barely contain herself. We must carry out a broad program of educating the great numbers of party members, cadres and the masses about Marxist views on democracy, exposing the true nature of American cries for democracy. Simultaneously, we should adopt practical and effective measures to develop a socialist democracy, truly bringing about rule by the people. When facing the forceful offensive of America’s color revolution, we must go a step further in both theory and practice, focusing our efforts on carrying out the relevant work.
In carrying out color revolutions, the United States does not lack for endurance. In every country that has had a color revolution the opposition always has received American financial backing. America is especially generous, never hesitating to spend its hard earned capital to support the opposition’s anti-regime activities. This includes ideological propaganda, carrying out street politics, organizing elections, etc. In Ukraine, when the opposition under Yushchenko organized a large-scale demonstration and he needed to gather together people from all over the country on the streets of Kiev, America used non-governmental organizations to provide money to rent cars and pay the fees for services rendered. In addition, in the course of one night, American-backed non-governmental organizations helped set up the tents for public lodging in the square. During the course of Georgia’s Rose Revolution, America was able to prepare for everything in advance by means of non-government organizations. This included determining how much money was to be spent, which anti-government organization was to be given support, and whom to cooperate with, along with other issues. In order to subvert the regime of Lukashenko in Belarus, the American government allocated $89 million in 2004 for the use of supporting an independent media, opposition group, domestic organizations, and trade organizations there. In 2005, the U.S. Senate once again declared that it was allocating $5 million for the explicit use of aiding the Belarusian opposition.
It is worth noting that the preparatory work for America’s color revolutions is often done via non-governmental organizations, especially during the period of ideological work. Numerous foundations operate under the pretense of fostering cooperation and communication, or investment in scientific research as a means to infiltrate local ideology and search for useful figures for the coming revolution. These kinds of activities are concealed, lurking underneath the surface until the right moment comes for them to reveal their true nature. As a result, these sorts of foundations and organizations must be carefully screened and dealt with seriously.
The United States pays close attention to training opposition members in politics so that they might become key members of the leadership. Poland’s Lech Walesa, Yugoslavia’s Kostunica, Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili, and Ukraine’s Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko have all been leading figures that are to America’s liking. They have received the secret and public support of the United States, with some still receiving a democratic education directly in America. For instance, in the summer of 2003, America held a seminar in Belgrade attended by Georgia’s Saakashvili, wherein he received training in how to carry out a Serbian-style soft revolution. Only a few months later Saakashvili successfully carried out Georgia’s Rose Revolution, ascending the throne as president. In addition to training leaders, America also expends a large amount of effort bringing the core power up to speed. In March 2003, the United States held a seminar at a Hilton hotel in the Hungarian capital of Belgrade entitled “A Seminar on Non-violent Protest.” Some 24 leaders of the Yugoslavian opposition were attending there in secret. Under the guidance of experts these leaders learned how to organize worker and student strikes, how to communicate through hand signals, how to conquer their fears, how to destabilize the rule of a dictatorial government, and other techniques. After finishing their studies, these leaders rapidly became involved in the street politics of the anti-Milosevic movement. In the autumn of 2004, America dispatched more than 1,000 people across Ukraine’s 14 oblasts. Timely trained for the Orange Revolution, the individuals transported made up the backbone of the movement. In 2003, Belarus had nearly 200 of its democratic activists go to America for a tour and training. Some 50 Belarusian youths also participated in the “future leaders” program organized by the American government and came to the United States for studies.
Preventing a Color Revolution Is a Systematic Project
In the present state of international and domestic affairs, China faces the objective risk of a Western-orchestrated color revolution occurring here. Our country’s socialism was established within the encirclement of capitalism, and though socialism may be the case in politics, economics, technology, the military, or even in ideology, capitalism has the stronger position throughout the globe. America has always carried out a strategy of westernization and stratification toward China. To use the words of Deng Xiaoping, the U.S. does not like the fact that China treads the socialist road, so it plots to overthrow our nation’s socialist system. We absolutely cannot afford to underestimate the influence of the United States.
Since the onset of reform and opening, the West has never ceased in its efforts to act out a color revolution in China. To prevent a color revolution, we must strengthen the instruments of our dictatorship. In times of political turmoil, the use of dictatorial tools is 100 percent necessary to protect political stability and social tranquility. It is exactly as Deng Xiaoping pointed out: “The proletariat acts as a new class in its seizure of power, thus in the course of establishing socialism, its power is weaker than capitalism for a relatively long period of time. If one does not utilize a dictatorship, then one cannot resist the attacks of capitalism. To uphold socialism one must persevere in the dictatorship of the proletariat, we call this the people’s democratic dictatorship. . . Using the power of the people’s democratic dictatorship to solidify the people’s political strength is a matter of justice, there is nothing wrong with it.” Democracy and dictatorship are one, it is only through the use of dictatorial powers over an extremely small minority that one can guarantee the democratic rights of the vast majority. To use dictatorial powers on this minority of liberalizers clamoring for color revolution and to punish their accomplices in accordance with the law is wholly in the right. Our talk of ruling our nation under the law and constitution includes this sort of thing.
At the same time, we must recognize that solely relying on the mechanism of dictatorship to face the threat to social stability posed by color revolution is vastly insufficient. We must turn our attention to measures of prevention and stopping disaster before it occurs. On the positive side, preventing a color revolution is a matter of strengthening the infrastructure of the party’s governing capability. This is an effort of systems engineering that brings together many different aspects, at a minimum one ought to include the following basic policies in this work:
1. Strengthen the leading position of Marxism and effectively carry out ideological work. One should re-establish the extreme importance of ideological work in one’s mind. Historically, the area of ideology is one that we have striven hard to take from hostile forces; if problems arise in this area then it may lead to societal chaos and even the loss of political power;
2. On the organizational side of things we must ensure that all levels of our leadership are firmly in the hands of Marxism. This is a key aspect of solidifying the ruling position of the Communist Party and preventing a color revolution. Only when all levels of party leadership and cadres are loyal to the party and to the socialist enterprise, and commit themselves wholeheartedly to the service of the people can our political power be as solid as a rock in the face of whatever hostile force within and without throw at us. Thus, we must closely guard against people who infiltrate the ranks of our leadership cadres and “eat the communist party’s food but smash its bowl";
3. The most fundamental policy is to shore up and strengthen the foundation of the party among the masses. In a socialist country, a color revolution is in reality a fierce class struggle where victory and defeat are determined in a contest of force. We need not fear some opposition, for in an economy that is globalizing, diversifying, subject to a multitude of changes, and subject to the drive of self-interest, there will always be people opposed to the socialist enterprise. It is not frightening that there are people opposed to this; one need only fear lacking the firm support of the great masses, a position where the ruling party cannot depend on the foundation of the masses. In relation to the power of the ruling party, this holds decisive importance.
4. To prevent a color revolution and to strengthen the infrastructure of the party’s governing capability, one must solidify the dominant role of public ownership, expanding the role of state economy. The foundation of our economy must certainly have a superstructure. The socialist system’s foundation lies in the communal ownership of the fruits of production, and our people’s democratic dictatorship is based on the foundation of a system of communal ownership. It is only through unceasingly strengthening the dominant role of communal ownership that our political power can be solidified.
*Editor’s note: Although accurately translated, the source and content of this quote could not be independently verified.
**Editor’s note: Although accurately translated, this quote could not be independently verified.
***Translator’s note: The translator disputes these figures, and based on independent research finds that these numbers should be higher: the cost of war being approximately $1.2 trillion and the number of casualties at approximately 4,000 dead.