Why Maoism still resonates in China today
The Monkey Cage | Washington Post (5/29/2019)
Co-authored with Iza Ding
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a "new Long March" in the wake of an intensifying trade war with the United States. The historical metaphor evokes a parallel between Xi and Mao Zedong, who rose to power during the grueling military retreat and eventually led the Communist Party to victory over the Nationalists. This was not the first time Xi’s rhetoric or policies stirred memories of China’s Maoist past. But there’s been little analysis of the complex emotions Mao’s memory — positive and negative — still raise among the Chinese public today, four decades after his death. Our current study looks at the looming memory of Mao and the Maoist era. China seems to be experiencing a resurgence of Maoism in recent years, manifest in popular nostalgia for Mao and in Xi’s style of governance.