Wang Xiaodong

Wang Xiaodong
(a.k.a Shi Zhong)
b. 1955
Culture critic
The changing international order and the loosening of political control in China after 1992 facilitated the rise of Liberal, ‘New-Leftist’ and Neo-Conservative intellectuals. These intellectuals debate with each other and have created a forum somewhat independent of the state. Wang Xiaodong is a major writer in the Neo-Conservative, nationalist camp.
Wang obtained a BS in mathematics from Peking University in 1982. After dropping out of a graduate programme in Japan, he returned to China and became a major nationalist writer. His views are not always coherent, but the recently published co-authored book, China’s Path in the Shadow of Globalization, clearly shows the core of his nationalistic thought. He believes that China’s national interests can be promoted in an open global market that shows a certain degree of tolerance towards China’s protection of its infant industries. He thinks that some US politicians have seen China’s booming economy as a threat and that there are strong anti-China forces developing in America. While he considers such a US reaction understandable, he suggests that the USA give China the space for development in exchange for China’s long-term support of the US-dominated international order. As for the current international order, Wang believes that, now that the collapse of the Soviet Union has made the USA the only superpower and the US democracy cannot effectively check the US policy-makers in the foreign policy domain, unilateralism is the (natural) consequence. In response to US unilateralism, Wang recommends that China increase defensive military spending and insists that the prospects for a constructive partnership with the USA will improve when China acquires the economic and military power that the USA respects. As for domestic politics, Wang advocates democracy, arguing that no true nationalism can be developed without human rights and democracy.
Fang, Ning, Wang, Xiaodong and Song, Qiang (eds) (1999). Quanqiuhua yinying xia de zhongguo zhilu [China’s Path in the Shadow of the Globalization] Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe.
——(2000). ‘Dangdai zhongguo minzu zhuyi lun’ [On Contemporary Chinese Nationalism] Zhuanlüe yü guanli [Strategy and Management] 42:69–82.
——(2001). ‘Ziyou bingfei qiangquan enci erlai: huida He Jiadong xiansheng de piping’ [Freedom is Not a Gift of the Hegemons: A Rejoinder to Mr He Jiadong]. Zhuanlüe yü guanli 44:82–4.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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