To clarify what is meant by “Chinese liberal,” I’ll refer to a Reddit comment, copied below.
China is in the middle of an internal conflict between the left and the right:
(1) Who are the left? – Mao Zedong – Xi Jinping – PLA generals – Patriotic and anti-imperialist Chinese – Woke ethnic Chinese living in foreign countries
(2) Who are the right? – Liu Xiaobo – At least 90% of Chinese (including HK and Taiwan) who emigrated to Western countires post 1980s – AF in WMAF
This internal struggle is simply an extension of the broader geopolitical struggle between China and USA, which itself is a present day manifestation of a clash of civilizations between East and West that has existed since the Opium War if not longer (such as Qing clash with Czarist Russia).
AA men find themselves in the unenviable position at the frontline of the civilization clash deep in enemy territory. We were sold out by our white worshipping parents (or ancestors) who belong to the right. After getting close and personal with whitey, we see whitey for who they are. Now our mission is to denounce the right including our parents (or ancestors) and contribute our strength to the homeland.
It’s time for AA men to figure out who they are. We are obviously hated by the West. We belong to the East. We must make sure the East destroys the West so we have the right to pass on our genes to the next generation.
In the West, there is easily the perception that creative intellectuals are naturally liberal. After all, how could anyone creative not want “freedom and democracy” and support a “communist dictatorship?” The image is easily one of the Chinese communists persecuting intellectuals with the Anti-Rightist Campaign, Cultural Revolution, etc, with all the smart, talented people in China wanting to escape.
Of course, those who are realistic know there are plenty of talented, creative, and capable people who a very patriotic too, which means supporting the Chinese Communist Party. Yes, the China haters can try to say that those people might be that way under duress, but that’s another story.
Surely though, there are plenty of such Chinese who are liberal, pro-West, and anti-communist. I’m going to make such a list for myself and for anyone who might be interested.
- Fang Lizhi – prominent astrophysicist behind the 1989 protests in China, later sought refuge in the US with his wife.
- Zhou Youguang – creator of Pinyin (romanization system for Chinese), published stuff critical of Mao and Chinese communists late in his life. He actually lived past 110 years of age.
- Yitang Zhang – stunned the world by proving finite gaps between primes, as a nobody and academic loser. He took part in Chinese democracy activism in America in the 80s and 90s.
- Ai Weiwei – artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics, also openly critical of Chinese government on democracy and human rights, in Germany since 2015.
- Yukong Zhao – a business consultant and the man behind the campaign against discrimination against Asian-Americans in US college admissions, in his writing on backchina.com, it is apparent that he is very Chinese liberal. Here is a representative writing of his politics. Though he’s not in STEM he did test into University of Science and Technology of China, so he’s clearly at least reasonably smart from an IQ point of view.
- Feng Congde – leader of Tiananmen Square protest and former husband of Chai Ling. His Chinese Wiki page says he entered Beijing University at age 16 and its graduate program in remote sensing at age 20, so he’s clearly at least +3 sigma in terms of STEM talent.
- Mao Yushi – graduated from Shanghai Jiaotong University in mechanical engineering (according to Chinese wiki page), later became an economist, advocated for classical liberalism and free-market economics, for which he won a prize from US based Cato Institute. Wrote a column critical of Mao. Also denounced as rightist in the late 50s.
I’ll keep adding to this list over time. It’s interesting to note how common it is for these people to come from families revealed to have been “politically problematic” too, consistent with personality (we can for the most part consider one’s political inclination as such) being moderately heritable (the big five traits all have about 0.5 heritability). From this list alone, we have documented that Ai Weiwei’s father was made a rightest during the Anti-Rightist Campaign and that Yukong’s family could not get along with either the KMT or the Chinese communists. Of course, the negative experiences of their families would influence to some extent such political views of theirs. But there is also the almost certainly a non-negligible heritable component.
I’ve witnessed plenty of smart, professionally accomplished Chinese liberals in the US, concluding with moderate or high confidence too based on hearing what they’ve said. I won’t name names for the sake of respect of privacy as those people do not already have their politics revealed online in the form of a Wiki page or through writings with their real name attached.