Neo-Maoists root for Trump


Top politics and current affairs news for April 4, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Chinese state media asks: Is there nepotism in the White House?"

The New York Times reports (paywall) that a small but vocal minority in China that advocates strong nationalism and a rejection of Western liberal democracy is lauding Donald Trump for tearing up “the old rules of the ruling elites, not just of the capitalist West,” and for being alone among national leaders daring “to openly promote the political ideas of Chairman Mao.” The loosely organized coalition is sometimes called “neo-Maoist” for its nostalgia for Mao-era China and its support of the Chairman’s ideas.

The scholar Jude Blanchette, who is writing a book on the movement, told the Times, “Many of the same ideas now animating the global populist movement have been the hallmarks of the neo-Maoist movement for over a decade,” and the Times notes that neo-Maoist periodicals have recently praised Trump for similarities between his rhetoric and that of Mao Zedong.

For more on the neo-Maoist movement, listen to the Sinica Podcast interview with Blanchette, and there is more on Trump-supporting Chinese people in a Sinica episode with Jiayang Fan.