By Erik Crouch
After his inauguration as General Secretary, Xi Jinping received the endorsement that every new leader eagerly awaits, the thumbs-up from Kim Jong Un. Chances are, DPRK-China relations will remain essentially the same as under Hu Jintao: China will continue to give North Korea enough aid to just about keep the regime from collapsing, and North Korea will prevent China from being flooded with millions of brain-washed, starving refugees. It’s a win-win in the worst way imaginable.
After the past 30-some years of reform in China, however, an increasing number of Maoist Chinese have travelled to the DPRK on the grounds that the North Korean necrocracy is more authentically “Red” than China. According to The Economist, the Maoists “believe that China’s leaders are betraying the ideals of the communist country’s founder and leading it to enslavement by the West,” and would prefer “the ‘purity’ of North Koreans compared with the Chinese.”
The Maoists are still a fringe group, but not as fringe as one may think; Bo Xilai’s rise, after all, was accompanied by a massive influx in “Red” propaganda and language, and Maoist website “Utopia” has a wide userbase and is frequently under attack by Chinese censors.
As The Economist notes, a communist “Red” revival in China would undoubtedly be a “Great Leap Backward.”
Image: Mao shrine in North Korea via People’s Daily