Cambodia justified in alertness to color revolution
China and Cambodia announced last week a think tank to research and exchange information on preventing color revolutions. With the 2018 general election approaching, the possibility of a color revolution in Cambodia has triggered widespread speculation. The country’s opposition leader Kem Sokha was earlier alleged to have conspired with Western forces to start a color revolution against the Hun Sen government, and was later arrested for treason. The Cambodian government believes that legal efforts should be strengthened to prevent color revolutions from being instigated.
Color revolutions evolved into the “Arab Spring” after spreading to West Asia and North Africa in 2011. The massive “Arab Spring” social movement failed to bring regional democracy or human rights, but instead brought constant turmoil and even bloodshed, jeopardizing the local economy and people’s livelihoods after the previous regimes were up- rooted.
Under the guise of “democracy and human rights,” color revolutions upset development, accelerate societal splits, and will pose a huge threat to Cambodia’s security, stability and economic development. The Hun Sen government’s vigilance on the issue is justified.
Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries are in transition from authoritarian to democratic politics. Development is the solution to many problems during this process, and therefore, reform is necessary and meanwhile should be carried out progressively. Cambodia has recently shut down a number of Westernsponsored media outlets and NGOs suspected of instigating color revolutions, but still, challenges cannot be overlooked.
In the era of the Internet, some forces may spread rumors online and stir up trouble for their political aims to the cost of the people and the country. In this situation, China can share its governing experiences with Cambodia, help the country realize stability and development, and prevent it from slipping into chaos and stress.
China hopes for Southeast Asia’s stable development, which also conforms to the joint interests of regional countries and their people. Cooperating with China, Cambodia’s economic growth is expected to hit 7 percent this year. Indeed, the country should reform itself to ensure the stability of its political institutions, but color revolutions will only result in unrest, inflicting relentless harm on ordinary people. Cambodia should be alert to Western “export of democracy.” Intervention by the West, directly or indirectly, will not help solve the country’s practical issues. A country’s economic and political mechanisms are determined by the needs of its people after all.