In his recent book, China’s New Red Guards: The Return of Radicalism and the Rebirth of Mao Zedong, Jude D. Blanchette argues that China’s growing authoritarianism draws directly from the Mao era. Under President Xi Jinping, state control over the economy is increasing, civil society is shrinking, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is expanding its reach in new ways. As Mr. Blanchette describes, nationalist intellectuals and activists have fed a populism that rejects Western notions of political pluralism, the rule of law, and a market economy. They draw on Mao’s writings and policies in support of a powerful CCP overseeing every aspect of Chinese society and politics.
On September 18, 2019, the National Committee hosted a conversation with Jude Blanchette about his new book and Mao’s influence on contemporary Chinese politics and society.