China’s Xi calls for efforts to prevent ‘color revolutions’ – Times of India


SAMARKAND: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday warned his Central Asian neighbors not to allow outsiders to destabilize them with “color revolutions” and offered to set up a regional counter-terrorism training center.
Xi’s remarks at a security summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders from Central Asia, India and Iran reflect official Chinese concern that Western support for pro-democracy and human rights activists is a plot to undermine Xi’s ruling Communist Party and other authoritarian governments.
“We must prevent external forces from causing a color revolution,” Xi said in a speech to leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organizationreferring to protests that overthrew unpopular regimes in the former Soviet Union and the Middle East.
Xi offered to train 2,000 police officers, establish a regional counter-terrorism training center and “strengthen law enforcement capacity building.” He gave no details.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was established by Russia and China as a counterweight to US influence. The summit is part of Xi’s first trip abroad since shortly after the coronavirus pandemic began 2 1/2 years ago, highlighting the importance for Beijing to assert itself as a regional leader.
The group also includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran is an observer and has applied for full membership.
The one-day summit in the ancient city of Samarkand took place against the backdrop of the Russian attack on Ukraine and fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a “dialogue partner” of the group, attended the summit and planned to hold talks with Putin on the status of an agreement to resume wheat exports from Ukraine via the Black Sea.
Xi is promoting a “Global Security Initiative” announced in April following the formation of the Quad by the US, Japan, Australia and India in response to Beijing’s more assertive foreign policy. Xi has provided few details, but US officials complain that it presents Russian arguments in support of Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
China’s relations with Washington, Europe, Japan and India are tense over disputes over technology, security, human rights and territory.
Central Asia is part of China’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative to expand trade by building ports, railways and other infrastructure in an arc of dozens of countries, from the South Pacific through Asia to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
On Thursday, Putin held a one-on-one meeting with Xi and thanked the Chinese leader for his government’s “balanced stance” on the war in Ukraine. Putin said he was willing to discuss China’s unspecified “concerns” about Ukraine.
Xi expressed in a statement from his government his support for Russia’s “core interests” as well as cooperation to “inject stability” into world affairs.
The Xi-Putin meeting “makes it clear that the partnership between China and Russia does indeed have borders,” analysts from the Eurasia Group said in a report.
Xi’s government, which said it had “boundless” friendship with Moscow before the attack on Ukraine, has refused to criticize Russia. Beijing and India are buying more Russian oil and gas, helping Moscow offset Western sanctions.
“China never approved the Russian invasion,” but is determined to “deepen strategic ties with Moscow to counteract Western influence,” they said.
China wants to negotiate an end to the war in Ukraine, said Li Xin, director of the Institute of European and Asian Studies at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law.
“China will not judge whether Russia’s special military operation is justified or not,” Li said.

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