Another Kind of Mao Worship

The Cultural Revolution may be over, but Mao worship is alive and well in some places — well, at least in one place. Mao Zedong’s only grandson, Mao Xinyu, is doing what he can to keep the flame alive.

Of all the blogs we read here at ChinaGeeks, Mao Xinyu’s is probably the worst. We added it to our blogroll (which our WordPress update has somehow deleted) months ago with the idea that it might be interesting to see what kind of person Mao’s grandson is. If his blog is any indication, he isn’t really a person of his own at all. We imagine he has his own thoughts from time to time, but his blog topics are…focused, to put it mildly. Here’s a sampling of the titles of some of his recent posts:

Grandfather [i.e., Mao Zedong] Has Had the Greatest Influence on My Life
The New Development of Mao Zedong’s National Defense Strategy
I Hope the Nation’s First Aircraft Carrier Will be Named After Mao Zedong
The Ancestral Home of My Grandfather Mao Zedong
Wen Jiabao Reports Many Aspects [of life] Make Use of Mao Zedong Thought
Remembering My Grandfather Mao Zedong on his 115th Birthday
We Love the Shaoshan [Mao Zedong’s birthplace] Cuckoo
Researching Mao Zedong’s Strategic Attack Strategy
Brief Discussion of Mao Zedong’s Strategic Attack Strategy
Mao Anqing: Remembering My Father Mao Zedong
Following in My Grandfather’s Footsteps

Noticing a pattern? Every single post on the front page of his blog is either about Mao Zedong or another elder member of Xinyu’s family, mostly his father and/or Mao’s other sons. At least his blog has a good catchphrase: “Mao Zedong’s grandson by his first wife, the country’s CPPCC representative, supports using blogs to spread Mao Zedong thought, and has received the approval of netizens.”

Xinyu has been in the news a little recently for having the same military rank he had before despite a few reports to the contrary.

We suppose it’s not particularly surprising that the Mao’s grandson would spend his life in the gigantic shadow of the man himself, although we also hope he’s got more going on in his brain than what he writes on his blog.

What might be more surprising to some is that his blog is pretty well read and receives a lot of comments. His most recent post, “Grandfather Has Had the Greatest Influence on My Life” (which is actually just a repost of an interview with him in the Nanfang Daily) has over 150 so far. Here’s a sample:

Having read your entire blog, I feel very good. Being a general means nothing, you are Mao Zedong’s ancestor, the inheritor and transmitter of Mao Zedong thought, a noble undertaking to be passed down through the ages. If you can get somewhere in this undertaking, [I] wouldn’t trade that for a dozen generals. Your grandfather was great, your mother was also great enough to make you absorb yourself in the grand undertaking of absorbing and disseminating Mao Zedong thought. I believe that under the eager anticipation of these two great forebears, you will radiate with brilliance that dazzles the eyes!
The whole country prays for you and wishes you well, [we] wish you and your family eternal health and happiness, and wish that you forever walk the path of Mao Zedong.

I love Mao Zedong passionately and wish happiness to his descendants.

Enjoyed, wish you happiness

Wish you happniess!
Chairman Mao Lives Forever in Our Hearts!
Chairman Mao Lives Forever in Our Hearts!

Forgetting the past is betrayal!

Long live the great Motherland! Long live the great Mao Zedong Thought! Long live the great Communist Party! Long live the great Chinese people! I wish happiness to the descendants who’ve inherited the chairman’s great work, rejuvenate and struggle hard for the Chinese people!

You get the idea.

Note: If this is none of this is a revelation to you, congrats, but we feel it will be eye-opening to many, especially those who’ve never been to China before and assume Chinese people see Mao the same way many Westerners do. Of course, the idea that all Chinese people see Mao the same way is ridiculous anyway.

0 thoughts on “Another Kind of Mao Worship”

  1. Of course, the idea that all Chinese people see Mao the same way is ridiculous anyway.
    Too fecking right. Barf.

    Can’t see the esteemed blog, taking way to long to load… but from your translation, sounds like a bunch of starry eyed rock star groupies.
    Anyway, a question: to what extent is any part of “Mao Zedong Thought” relevant to China today?


  2. @ mtm: I don’t know, I’ve never made it all the way through one of his posts. My Chinese isn’t good enough that I can read stuff like that quickly and, well, there’s not a lot of reward to reading anything he’s written (imho).


  3. “Following in My Grandfather’s Footsteps”
    Sure do hope that doesn’t include the pedophile tendencies. Tried to read some of his entries, but its just too full of the junk thought that westerners stereotypically think all Chinese think. I can’t stomach reading it all.


  4. Mao Xinyu actually has a bad reputation among the netizens. I remember a couple of years ago across the online world – Tianya, Mop, etc. – there were posts that compared him to Chiang Kai-shek’s grandsons, who were handsome, fit and charismatic. Well Mao Xinyu is the exact opposite. Oh and his handwriting is absolutely horrendous – I guess everybody here knows how the Chinese can judge people solely on their handwriting? Even the old folks in my big family who have a favorable view of Chairman Mao are repelled by his grandson. “How could Chairman Mao have such a loser grandson” is usually the sentiment among the netizens.


  5. But Mao Xinyu is very unfortunate. People compare him to his grandpa. The commies on the one hand can’t just simply dismiss him because of his grandpa but on the other hand are wary of him also because of his grandpa’s cult of personality. I guess him being not charismatic or popular helps dampen the hostilities within the Party. In a certain way he is a hostage. Wan Baobao (Wan Li’s granddaughter) and Ye Minzi (Ye Jianying’s granddaughter) are famous socialites who fly around the world attending parties and luxury store openings, but the secret police must have Mao under surveillence 24/7.


  6. Yup, thanks for the heads up, apparently my English isn’t want it used to be. Also, in the interest of mutual editing (!!), it’s spelled “descendant”.

    @ wooddoo: Yeah, I would not want to trade lives with Mao Xinyu…


  7. There’s a ghost haunting China…

    One would think the ghost of Mao Zedong is alive through Mao Xinyu, but it seems that it’s Mao Xinyu who is alive through Mao Zedong.
    Funny how Xinyu lives through a dead person, because that makes Xinyu dead too…. in a way.


  8. I probably would not have contemplated this was useful two or three months ago, yet it is fascinating how age evolves the way you respond to stuff, many thanks for the weblog post it really is pleasing to see something sensible here and there instead of the conventional rubbish masquerading as blogs and forums around the net. Cheers


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