Date
15 December 2017
Hong Kong's democracy movement can't be compared to the 'color revolution' that toppled repressive regimes, according to a senior Chinese academic. Photo: AFP
Hong Kong's democracy movement can't be compared to the 'color revolution' that toppled repressive regimes, according to a senior Chinese academic. Photo: AFP

Democracy movement sparks spat between academic, generals

A mainland academic sparked a heated exchange with two senior army officials after accusing the former vice chairman of China’s highest military body of committing “terrifying things” while in power.

The incident happened at a forum hosted by Global Times, an English newspaper run by the Communist Party, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.

Wang Zhanyang, director of the political science department of the Central Institute of Socialism, was referring to former Central Military Commission vice chairman Xu Caihou and ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang, both under investigation for corruption.

Retired Rear Adm. Yang Yi, former director and current research fellow in the Institute for Strategic Studies at China’s National Defense University, accused Wang of denigrating communism and belittling socialism in a Communist Party school.

Wang shot back by saying socialism is worthless if it does not include anti-corruption.

Maj. Gen. Peng Guangqian, deputy secretary general of the National Security Forum, lashed at Wang’s assertion that there is no comparison between Hong Kong’s democracy movement and the so-called “color revolution” in some countries.

He accused Wang of confusing corruption with revolution and blamed western powers for creating such a mindset, inciting mainlanders to create chaos.

Wang said China is a big country and that its government cannot be overthrown as easily as those in northern Africa and the Middle East which saw a wave of popular uprisings in recent years.

These drew western labels such as the 2010 Green Revolution Iran, the 2011 Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia and the Lotus Revolution in Egypt that same year.

They were in turn inspired by similar upheavals that toppled communist regimes in eastern Europe in the late 1980s.

Wang said the exchange went on until the lunch break when he was surrounded by some participants.

He denied being beaten by a general after news of the purported incident went viral on social media.

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TL/AC/RA

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