New this fortnight: Chinese intellectuals who support Trump. I had encountered such people in passing before, and dismissed them as strategic thinkers of the “the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend” variety, in other words, Liberals who hoped Trump would be a thorn in Xi Jinping’s side. But having read Lin Yao’s fascinating piece on “Beaconism and the Trumpian Metamorphosis of Chinese Liberal Intellectuals,” and having discussed the issue with the Wall Street Journal’s Sha Hua, who is writing her own piece on the question, I decided to take a closer look. The three texts translated from Liberal authors offer variations on a theme: the sociologist Sun Liping praises Trump for attacking political correctness, comparing this attack to the “liberate thought” movement in China in the early 1980s, and suggesting that both represent a return to “normal;” legal scholar Wang Jianxun praises Trump for restoring the “American spirit,” which he defines as “Ayn Rand plus the Bible;” the well-known constitutional scholar Gao Quanxi (together with his colleague Tian Feilong) sees both Trump’s election and Brexit in England as the return of a sensible “Burkean” conservatism, successfully challenging a “borderless” expansion of rights discourse. The fourth text, by the well-known New Left political scientist Cui Zhiyuan reveals a surprising fascination with former Trump advisor Steve Bannon. No author mentions Trump’s anti-China rhetoric, and all treat Trump’s rhetoric with what to me was a suprising seriousness.
New on the site this fortnight, three translations of recent essays discussing China’s views of America, both in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, and the anti-racism protests provoked by the death of George Floyd.
Xu Jinlin, "Looking at American Political Correctness and Identity Politics through the Lens of the Anti-Racist Movement"
Yuan Peng, "Political Gamesmanship and American Chaos"
Yuan Peng, "The Coronavirus Pandemic and a Hundred-Year Change"
I am also delighted to make available an essay by my Sino-French friend and scholar Ji Zhe, “The ‘China Virus’ and its Mutation”
Enjoy! Next time, Chinese Trump supporters.
About this site
This web site is devoted to the subject of intellectual life in contemporary China, and more particularly to the writings of establishment intellectuals. What you will find here are essentially translations of Chinese texts that we consider important, together with discussions of related issues and a number of reference tools that can help those interested to navigate the project.
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