If there’s one thing neo-Maoists love, it’s North Korea. If there’s one thing they hate, it’s liberal journalists. These two combined in a lovely “red tour” to the DPRK last month, organized by the Utopia website (i.e. those guys who openly congratulated North Korea on its crazed nuclear efforts). Unbeknownst to the tour’s participants, a writer for the liberal Southern People Weekly had decided to tag along, and he published a travel diary of the trip.
The Utopia folk may be true believers in a classless society free of commodification and exploitation, but they’re also tourists, and they want their trinkets, dammit. According to South China Morning Post:
After visiting the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea, the group of apparently mostly retired Chinese officials, “seeing aspirations to contribute their strength to war efforts blighted, showed their fighting power when shopping”, the traveller wrote.
The group spent several dozen thousand yuan at a souvenir store before heading back to Pyongyang.
“Whether leftists or rightists, when it comes to emptying [store] shelves, they are all the same, they are all Chinese,” a traveller said, according to the writer.[…]
Diao Weiming, the organiser of the “red tours”, said he did not know about the Southern People Weekly report. He called it “childish”.
“This young lad is just trying to make an ideological point,” he said.
The Utopia tour cost 4,800RMB for a four-day trip, and the Mao fan-club also does “red tours” to Vietnam. This isn’t the first time that neo-Maoists have gone on trips to North Korea, and they often claim that the DPRK is more “pure” than the CCP’s China. Or maybe they’re just Rodman fans.