Wang Hui is one of China's foremost critical intellectuals. A leading figure of the "Chinese New Left", his work has attempted to chart the intellectual and political conditions of contemporary China. Against the neoliberal restructuring of China, and its official propagandists, Wang's work has remained committed to a left-wing project whose aim has been to take-stock of both the history and the consequences of Chinese modernity.
In this interview with the journal Foreign Theoretical Trends, originally published in Chinese and included as an appendix to the recently published China's Twentieth Century, Wang discusses the discourses of development in China and across the Global South, the intellectual and political heritage of Maoism, and the hopes for a new anti-capitalist movement globally.
In a January 13 interview with En Liang Khong, Wang Hui proclaims, “there is a certain political correctness among the left that implies that talking about this history links you to its disasters. This is a cheap way of doing history.”
For Wang, author of the book The End of Revolution: China and the Limits of Modernity, doing history better means confronting China’s political ghosts. From the Cultural Revolution to Tiananmen Square, the nation's history has too often been framed from an elite perspective, masking a complex political underbelly.