Source: Indian Express
News: While speaking at the annual SCO summit in Uzbekistan Chinese President Xi Jinping appealed for cooperation between members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to prevent foreign powers from inciting “colour revolutions” and destabilising countries.
About “colour revolutions”:
- Initially, “colour revolutions” used to refer to uprisings of the early 2000s in former communist nations in Eastern Europe. Now, it is also used in reference to popular movements in the Middle East and Asia.
- Most colour revolutions are based on large-scale streets mobilisation demanding free elections or regime change and calls for the removal of authoritarian leaders.
- In colour revolutions protesters often wear a specific colour, like orange in the case of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution.
- Colour revolutions are also used to describe movements named after flowers like the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia.
- Beijing is also sceptical that the Hong Kong protests in 2019, took “colour revolution characteristics”.
- Criticism of Colour revolutions: It is believed that colour revolutions have been orchestrated by the United States and its Western allies to further their geopolitical interests as these revolutions have destabilising influences on adversaries of the U.S. such as Moscow and Beijing.
Types of Colour revolutions:
- Orange Revolution: Orange revolution occurred when reports from domestic and international observers claimed that Ukraine’s 2005 Presidential election was runoff between Viktor Yushchenko (Western ally) and then President Viktor Yanukovych (Russia backed) was rigged in favour of Moscow backed candidate i.e. President Viktor Yanukovychein. The US and European Union did not recognize the victory of Yanukovych. In the aftermath of the elections series of protests took place in Ukraine between November 2004 and January 2005. Protesters took to the streets across the country wearing orange colour (Yushchenko’s campaign colour). Finally, Ukrainian Supreme Court annulled the results and ordered a re-vote in which Yushchenko emerged victorious.
- Tulip Revolution or First Kyrgyz Revolution: When Kyrgyzstan’s President Askar Akayev with his allies and families won the parliamentary elections of 2005 many foreign observers such as Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) claimed that election fraud had occurred and the election process was deeply flawed. Then, protests or movements started for the ouster of President Askar Akayev who had been President since 1990. In March 2005, opposition leaders began to occupy the outside area of the parliament building in the capital of Kyrgyzstan i.e. Bishkek. With the movement’s growing momentum across the country, there were growing calls for the removal of Akayev. Initially, Akayev refused to negotiate but with growing pressure, he fled to Russia with his family from where he resigned. There were reports that the U.S. govt had provided financial aid to the Kyrgyz opposition before the election through non-governmental agencies or NGOs.
- Jasmine Revolution: During the reign of longtime President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali corruption, unemployment, inflation and lack of political freedoms became regular features of Tunisia. Confiscation of wares of the young vegetable vendor by the police leading to his self-immolation in front of the government building acted as an immediate catalyst for the movement. Young vegetable vendors’ response to the confiscation became the symbol of the hardship and injustice that Tunisians were facing during the long reign of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. The popular uprising peaked in Tunisia from December 2010 to January 2011. The phrase Jasmine revolution used to describe the movement as Jasmine was Tunisia’s national flower. Initially, Tunisian security forces used violence to quell the movement killing hundreds and injuring thousands. The violent response of the Tunisian government led to widespread domestic and international criticism. Facing heat President Ali pledges reforms in vain. Finally, Ali was ousted in January 2011. Jasmine revolution was an important milestone in the history of the colour revolution as it inspired a wave of protests in North Africa and the Middle East, which came to be known as the Arab Spring.
- History of major protests and movements across the world defined by colour revolutions. Colour revolutions changed the fate of many countries. Mostly these revolutions began as a protest against the tyranny of despotic rule, but some analyst believes that most of these movements were funded by the U.S. to bring regime change and destabilise the adversary of the United States. China recently witnessed protests in Hong Kong with characteristics of colour revolutions.
Important points to remember for Prelims:
- Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
- Locate the Capital and Countries surrounding Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Tunisia on Map.
Articles: What are the ‘colour revolutions’ that China’s Xi Jinping has warned against?
Article Link: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/what-are-colour-revolutions-chinas-xi-Jinping-warned-8157165/