Robin Daverman, World traveler
LOL. This is actually a pretty funny question.
You know there are dozens of factions/political groups in China, right? They are usually at each other’s throats all the time, like this.
Planning, scheming, and fighting for each space with a ruthless concentration. All the foreign accusations of “yada yada yada communism … dictatorship … human rights …” are basically the traffic noise in the back ground that nobody pays attention to.
About 20 years ago, the European/American educated Chinese youngsters came back to China, bringing with them the "white leftists"（白左）Western liberal slogans, like Women’s Rights, LGBT Rights, etc. It was like a beautiful blonde showed up in the middle of the crowded Beijing street.
Robin Daverman, 世界旅行者
So of course the chess players all wanted to chat her up, and as time goes on, well, the Look - is what you see instantly. The IQ - is something you can only find out over time, and over time, the reaction of the Chinese becomes this.
“Hate” is too strong a word. The proper word is “running away”. Yes, people are running away from her, because she turned out to be a blonde bimbo, and hanging around her is like hanging around the bull in the glass shop. You are staring at a pile of trouble amid broken glasses. And it’s funny because the various Chinese factions and groups that are all at each others’ throats somehow found common ground against the “White Leftists”, and all for different reasons. But they all agree that the “White Leftists” are a mud hole. Whoever touches it will get mud all over.
The mainstream view in China, as represented by the Chinese government, is to measure everything by practical outcome. So you want to absorb the Muslim refugees? Great. Then set up the agency/task force to plan and execute your policy, get all the kids to schools and learn the language, the civics, the math, get all the adults to work during the day, make sure everybody gets along, all the sick are taken care of, and everybody contributing to society, without any “mass incidents”, then I’ll respect you. Remember that even flamboyant figures like Che Guevara was looked down by the CCP 50 years ago as someone “who goes around setting fire everywhere, but doesn’t go back to put out the fire and build a better house on top of it.” The ones who goes around anti-this and anti-that don’t get much respect from the Chinese mainstream. They tend to be viewed as “mostly troublemakers. Occasionally useful idiots.” You’ve got to be able to BUILD, and build something greater. So then you look at the mess in Europe right now, and you have to say, things are not running smoothly.
So you see, it’s for a lot of different reasons, but the consensus is that the “White Leftists” are not the ones holding out the liberal flag for others to follow, but the ones who hold the liberal flag over the fire so that it will be burned into ashes.
The not-so-funny thing is, more than a year ago, as soon as the European migrant crisis started, the poorly-informed Chinese had reached the consensus that the next Führer is coming to Europe. That … was way back in the summer of 2015. Now we see Brexit, we see right-wing parties taking more political power all over Europe, and we see fences going up everywhere, one has to ask the uncomfortable question:
If the poorly-informed, poorly-educated, Chinese netizens could see this coming, why couldn’t the well-informed, well-educated European politicians?
Matthew Miller, American living and working in China.
I am American, not Chinese, so I do not presume to speak for the Chinese. I lived for years in China, but even so, Chinese culture is very deep, and I certainly am no expert. That being said, my own opinion is that Chinese people, above all else, are practical. You can see it in everything they do, even their government. They want solutions to problems, and they believe that the only way to find solutions, is to do something about the problem.
A microcosm of this is how my Chinese wife and I go about cleaning the house differently. I will stand and survey the rooms. I will plan it out in my head: ok, if I sweep through this room first, then I can move to the kitchen. But wait, should I go room by room, or should I go task by task? Maybe if I start by taking out the garbage, then sweeping, etc. My wife? She just starts picking things up and wiping. She does not stand around and think about it.
Chinese people are very practical, and to them, a 白左 is someone who sits around thinking about problems and pontificating on them, instead of trying to do something about them, or instead of focusing on real problems.
Matthew Miller, 美国人在中国生活和工作
Victor Shi, lives in China
White leftists are usually seen as naive and ignorant but sympathetic to everything without knowing their kindness can bring wolves home.
A famous Aesop fable was widely quoted,
One winter a Farmer found a Snake stiff and frozen with cold. He had compassion on it, and taking it up, placed it under his coat. The Snake was quickly revived by the warmth, and resuming its natural instincts, bit its benefactor, inflicting on him a mortal wound.
I hope my could answer the OP how is a white leftist like in Chinese eyes.
Victor Shi, 住在中国
George Koo, China business advisor & Op-ed contributor
I don’t know the Chinese people’s mindset well enough to explain why white liberals are hated but I am happy to tell you why I have such disdain for the white liberals when it comes to their attitude about China. For the record, I am a Chinese American who has spent well over 80% of his life in the US.
My disdain can be summarized in three words: Ignorance. Arrogance. Hypocrisy. Some of the nationally well known liberals that I might otherwise admit to a smidgen of admiration are guilty of one or more of those three condemnations.
Ignorance. Many white liberals have no knowledge about China and just naturally assume that China should be more like the US.
Arrogance. As the hegemonic power of the world, many assumes no one knows better what’s good for them than the Americans. This is despite a Chinese culture of 4000+ years vs. an American culture of a mere 200+ years.
More recently Elizabeth Warren took a three day visit to Beijing, most likely to burnish of her credentials in foreign affairs—obviously not her strong suit. While in China, she pulled a pelosi by criticizing the human rights in China. She would have been better off spending her time learning how China pulled 800 million out of poverty and figuring how she might be able to use some of that to get Americans out of poverty.
George Koo, 中国商务顾问及特约撰稿人
Feng Xian, former Research Associate at Eurasian Center (2017-2018)
"If one hug can't solve the problem, then two hugs will ".
"Oh my god I wanna cry".
"You should preserve your primitive/feudal culture and stay spiritual. You're evil if you wanna modernize and industrialize".
"Yet you shouldn't eat dogs. You should teach boy lovers in school to kids".
"Black people have been the victim throughout the history".
-White liberal logic
Feng Xian, 欧亚中心前研究助理(2017-2018)
Wenbin Wu, works at Sony
Because despite the “white liberals” are seemingly more into equality, they still try to use the same old evaluation system on China. The only difference between them and the others is how, instead of why. China wants to be recognized in a realistic hologram, instead of through the bubbles of political correctness.
Wenbin Wu, 在索尼工作
Tom McGregor, I lived in Beijing since Oct. 2010
I have been looking forward to answer this question on Quora, but I was waiting for another person to ask it. And for-the-record, ‘hate’ is too strong a word here. Many Chinese do not hate ‘white liberals,’ they view them with mockery or scorn.
According to pinyin, ‘white liberal’ in Chinese is called, ‘baizuo’ (white left). You can learn more about baizuo in the Urban Dictionary in a link here:
“Baizuo (pronounced "bye-tswaw) is a Chinese epithet meaning naive western educated person who advocates for peace and equality only to satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority. A baizuo only cares about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment while being obsessed with political correctness to the extent that they import backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism.”
Tom McGregor, 自2010年10月以来，一直住在北京
The Urban Dictionary goes on to clarify that a stereotypical baizuo is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. So to be recognized as a ‘total baizuo’ you should hold similar political sentiments as Trudeau does.
Chinese culture tends to act in a more traditional manner and frowns upon individuals or groups demanding special privileges, just because they identify themselves as so-called victims. Even though, I’m not baizuo and a conservative, one of the biggest challenges to adapt to China when first arriving here was to learn that you can not play your ‘victim card’ to gain advantages here.
In the Chinese mind, everybody has some suffering, so why should certain people deserve unfair privileges over others? To promote harmony they suggest you stop looking at yourself as a victim and do whatever you can to become a productive member of society.
Hence, a baizuo faces many obstacles to gain greater acceptance in Chinese society. They base their philosophical mindset on a notion that they and anyone else they support are victims, so society must not only welcome them with open arms but provide them with extra benefits that ordinary Chinese are not permitted to enjoy.
On the basis of fairness, the Chinese would find it difficult to condone the baizuo’s requests for special treatment for members of the LGBT community, environmentalist activists and Islamist jihadists. They will wonder why do these certain types of people enjoy better career opportunities than a more qualified person does? Therefore, they view affirmative action hiring practices as counter-productive and could lead to disharmony for the community as a whole.
Additionally, I have lived and worked in China since 2010 and one of the joys of my life in Beijing is meeting on occasion a ‘baizuo’ who has just arrived in the country. They have big dreams to “transform China,” according to their political viewpoints.
They will tell me they came to China to rid the nation of pollution, usher in a new era of gay marriage and plan to tell all Chinese that they should welcome refugees from the war-torn countries of the Middle East into their homes.
Of course, I do warn baizuo newcomers that their efforts may not succeed and they should at least consider the possibility of compromise when making demands. But, the over-zealous ‘baizuo’ can not comprehend such advice and usually tells me I’m acting intolerant and ignorant.
Well so be it and usually when my conversation comes to an end, I tell them, “it was nice knowing you,” because so many ‘baizuo’ depart from China in disappointment a few months later, if they last that long.
And as one Chinese elder told me, “when I meet a baizuo, I say ‘welcome to China,’ but when that person leaves China, I (Chinese elder) and my fellow Chinese citizens will continue to live here. We have been doing that for over 5,000 years in the past and we may do so for another 5,000 years in the future.”
Paul Denlinger, Have lived in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong; fluent in Mandarin (written, spoken)
Because “white liberalism” represents an over-reaction and over-correction to Orientalism, which was the dominant thinking about the east for nearly 200 years in the west.
I would say that the problem with many westerners about China, Africa and many other parts of the world, which they consider to be less-developed (not necessarily true, but that is the way they think) has shifted from one of cultural and economic superiority (Orientalism), to the other extreme, of trying to adopt the cultural mores of the local civilization, even to the point of appearing foolish, as Canadian PM Trudeau did.
Paul Denlinger, 曾在中国大陆、台湾及香港居住，普通话流利(书面、口语)