Members of the Politburo are rarely praised for their dancing skills, but consider Xi Jinping’s almost flawless execution of the political two-step: first casting himself as the voice of liberal moderation in the face of Bo Xilai’s mass propaganda, and then draping himself in the mantle of Maoist China and the Communist Revolution once his position was secure. The changes are enough to prompt anyone to ask: how exactly did this happen and does it even make sense?
This episode of Sinica takes a look at the political movement some academics are calling neo-Maoist, the traditionally conservative politicians and Party members whose influence began eroding with market reforms in the 1980s but have arguably witnessed a comeback of sorts in the last two years. In conversation with Jude Blanchette, former Assistant Director of the 21st century China program at the University of California, San Diego, now with the Conference Board, Kaiser and Jeremy take a look at the history of the movement, who the major players are today, and how it is playing out in the Chinese media. Also, we pick our favorite upcoming events from the Beijing Literary Festival.
- The Deng Xiaoping Era: An Inquiry Into the Fate of Socialism, Maurice Meisner (Hill and Wang, 1996)
- Mao’s China and After: A History of the People’s Republic, Maurice Meisner (Simon & Schuster, 1986)
- Meeting China Halfway: How to Defuse the Emerging US-China Rivalry, Lyle J. Goldstein (Georgetown University Press, 2015)
- “Utopia Website Shutdown: Interview with Fan Jinggang,” Robert Foyle Hunwick, Danwei, April, 14, 2012