Chinese social media users might not yet grasp the power of calling someone a “cuck,” but there’s a new trend emerging among the Chinese pro-Trump right-wingers, calling other left-wing peers “Baizuo” in online debates (which literally means the “white left”)
“If you look at any thread about Trump, Islam or immigration on a Chinese social media platform these days, it’s impossible to avoid encountering the term baizuo, or literally, the ‘white left'”, wrote Chenchen Zhang in OpenDemocracy.
Zhang claims that the term that mocks “white left” started about two years ago and has become “one of the most popular derogatory descriptions for Chinese netizens to discredit their opponents in online debates.”
But what exactly does it mean?
Well, according to a thread on a question-and-answer site called Zhihu, which claims to have a high percentage of Chinese professionals and intellectuals, the term means what people here call “social justice warriors,” “regressive left” or “libtard”:
Although the emphasis varies, baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.
The insult reached its peak during the US presidential election campaign, especially after Chinese critics of the “white left” discovered the populist message of Donald Trump.
As Zhang noted, “Following the debates in the US, a number of other issues such as welfare reforms, affirmative action and minority rights were introduced into online discussions on the ‘white left’.”
Those critics started to see Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as the primary example of the “white left”, while Trump became the champion of their war against the Western-style left-wing activist.
Unlike the conservatives in America, however, Chinese right-wingers are rallying against issues that barely really exist in China, as the authoritarian government suppresses most political movements.