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Baizuo (/ˈbˌdzwɔː/; Chinese: 白左 báizuǒ, literally White Left)[1][2] is a derogatory Chinese neologism and political epithet used to refer to Western leftist ideologies primarily espoused by white people.[3] The term baizuo is related to the term shèngmǔ (圣母, 聖母, literally "Blessed Mother"), a sarcastic reference to those whose political opinions are perceived as being guided by emotions or a hypocritical show of selflessness and empathy.[4]

The term baizuo was apparently coined in a 2010 article published on Renren Network by user Li Shuo, entitled The Fake Morality of the Western White Left and the Chinese Patriotic Scientists (西方白左和中国爱国科学家的伪道德), initially used as a general critique of certain socialist values in the American left.[3] No further use of the term is known until 2013, where on Chinese forum Zhihu through 2013-2015, the term evolved to criticize some people among the left who seemingly advocate for positive slogans like peace and equality to boast their sense of moral superiority, but are ignorant of real-world consequences, and utilize destructive behavior like political sacrifice and identity politics.[3][5]

Substantial use in Chinese Internet culture began in early 2016, at first at MIT BBS, a bulletin board system used by many Chinese in the U.S., during the 2016 United States presidential election. Baizuo was used there to criticize the policies of the Democratic Party as emphasizing caring for minorities, perceived as treating Asians unfairly.[5]

After the United States presidential election of 2016, the term came to be more widely used in reference to perceived double standards of Western media, as well as in relation to the tolerance of left-wing activists for manifestations of Islamism (see regressive left).[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mair, Victor (17 May 2017). ""White left" — a Chinese calque in English". Language Log. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  2. ^ "福克斯台给美国大众普及:中国人说的"白左"是什么意思…". Sina Video (in Chinese). 21 May 2017. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "这个词,让中国向西方逆向输出了一次价值观(组". (in Chinese). 20 May 2017. Archived from the original on 25 June 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b Zhang, Chenchen (11 May 2017). "The curious rise of the 'white left' as a Chinese internet insult". openDemocracy. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b Fang, Kecheng (10 December 2017). "方可成:"白左"污名化与社会达尔文主义". Red Song Society (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 6 June 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2019.