World / Opinion

Color Revolution no magic potion for Middle East tribulations

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-01-19 11:01

BEIJING - As Chinese President Xi Jinping embarks on a trip set to open a new era of win-win cooperation between his country and the Middle East, the crisis-ridden region is presented with a golden opportunity to blaze a new trail out of its chronic turmoil.

Throughout its history, the transcontinental patch of land has been blessed with, among many others, a geopolitically important location, unparalleled reserves of oil, and enormous cultural and religious diversity.

Yet in modern times these natural blessings have largely failed to translate into real benefits for the people there. Rather, they have sadly been more like a curse trapping the region in development-handicapping insecurity and unrest.

A culprit behind the curse is, as numerous observers both inside and outside the region have eloquently expounded, Western intervention, which is more than often gilded with such lofty slogans as democracy and human rights but adulterated with selfish agendas.

The waves of turbulence and upheaval that swept West Asia and North Africa over recent years -- lauded in the West as various Color Revolutions or the Arab Spring -- serve as a sobering reminder.

More than five years after the self-immolation of a young Tunisian vendor triggered the chain reaction, Western intervention has brought the region nothing but a toxic mixture of social disturbances, international conflicts, unprecedented refugee flows, bloody sectarian clashes and rampant terrorism.

The tragedy -- more like an "Arab Winter" than spring -- stems from the West's attempt to manipulate local grassroots grievances for the purposes of exporting its own ideology and institutions and toppling the governments it loathes.

That self-centered calculations have only served to further complicate the long-standing intricacies in the Middle East, exacerbate the deep-rooted suspicions among regional players and stoke tensions across the already tense region, at the dear cost of the well-being of the hundreds of millions of people living there.

Meanwhile, it has become increasingly clear that the mess the West's meddling hands have created in the Middle East is further and further out of those very hands, as the West's "leadership" -- or, more accurately, manipulative power -- in the region has been on the wane together with its role as both moneybag and arsenal for its proxies.

In order to walk out of the current quagmire, the Middle East does need help from the outside world. But Western-style intervention is no viable option; it is more of a mortal poison than of a magic potion.

Instead, the international community should follow China's example and commit itself to constructive engagement in Middle East affairs on the basis of respecting state sovereignty and national realities, promoting inclusive dialogue and reconciliation, and pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation.

While Western interventionists tend to focus on geopolitical gains, truly helpful partners should lay emphasis on economic development and the living conditions of the people, as the two factors lie at the root of most of the troubles besetting the region, including terrorism.

More importantly, the endless shedding of blood and tears has fully demonstrated that foreign players should never take the liberty of imposing exotic governance systems and development paths upon Middle East nations.

The fate of the Middle East should be in the hands of the people living there. And that applies to all countries and regions across the world.

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