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‘Baizuo’ and ‘White Monkey’: Two Terms China Uses to Mock America

baizuo white monkey china

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Despite the pretensions of world domination it harbors, China is a great unknown to Americans and the West. It seems, however, that China understands and knows how to define the American situation better than Americans know about China. It could even be said that China knows America better than Americans themselves. The terms baizuo and white monkey would be a clear example of this.

Perhaps because of the secrecy that surrounds China due to the rigid control of information entering and leaving the country, and its capacity for political, cultural and informational influence, many Americans don’t consider it a threat to the hegemony of Western values and culture.

This disconnection from the reality of Americans and their naive attitude to the world situation contrasts with the clarity of ideas that many Chinese have about the American political situation. Despite the rigid control and censorship of their country, they are fluent in some terms and definitions that are hardly known here, which would demonstrate America’s vulnerability to the determination of the Chinese Communist Party.


This is a neologism that is being used in China, especially in the field of internet forums and social networks. Although it does not have a direct and clear translation, it could be understood to refer to the Western left that is only superficially and naively concerned about issues such as minorities, the environment, tolerance of immigration, transsexuality, racism, etc.

Here we refer to baizuos as “woke” people, “social justice warriors”, “liberals” or “progressives”. In China they also use the term in a derogatory and derisive way, considering them hypocritical humanitarians who advocate entelechies, when in reality all they seek is to reaffirm their sense of moral superiority, while being oblivious to the problems of the real world.

Multi-cause activists (Image: Flickr)

The Chinese are clear – even clearer than many Americans – that these people are victims of political correctness, and that they are willing to let their own culture, values, and even their way of life be sacrificed, so as not to be accused of offending, or not being considered tolerant, multicultural and open-minded enough.

Even communist China laughs at the “baizuos” because they believe in a welfare state and a system of public aid that, in their minds, sustains itself and almost magically, having lost all values related to effort and hard work. The Chinese know that this only benefits the idle, the envious and the free-riders in the short term, but in the long run it means the economic collapse of the whole society.

White monkey

In China, any foreigner who is hired simply because he is a foreigner is called a “white monkey”. Although they are called white monkey, it does not mean that they have to be white, but can be black, Hispanic, or of any ethnic group other than Chinese.

It is a pejorative and condescending term and is used to refer to people who accept money in exchange for doing things that do not require any special talent beyond not being Chinese. This category would not include, for example, a Spaniard teaching Spanish in China, or an American working as an engineer.

Within the white monkeys there are different types. On the one hand, we would have Westerners who disguise themselves and act like farm animals in a cage to make Chinese children laugh, or who pose in shopping malls disguised as mermaids or tritons to promote a perfume, or who record humorous Internet viral videos.

This type of white monkey has a component of self-humiliation or denigration, and serves to feed Chinese nationalist pride, a comic relief to laugh at or feel better about helping them.

Another type of white monkey would be, for example, the actor who pretends to be a doctor in an advertisement to promote a vitamin supplement or a medicine. Obviously, he’s not a doctor, and many times he is not even an actor, he is simply a foreigner. Don’t miss this hilarious example of an English boss, or one who at least looks English in the eyes of the general Chinese public:

Similar to this type of white monkey that is used to give credibility to Chinese companies and products, there would also exist those that are used by the Chinese regime itself to legitimize some of its actions before its own people and before the rest of the world.

Thus, we can find all sorts of Western “experts”, journalists and analysts, possibly in the pay of the CCP – albeit indirectly – who will legitimize things like the Uyghur genocide in China, or spread stories about how bad Tibetan monks are.

Finally we would have the higher level and better paid white monkey, whose most representative example would be the actor, rapper and wrestler John Cena, who redirected his career to China and made it very lucrative. So grateful does he seem to be to the Chinese Communist Party that John Cena recently recorded a video in Chinese begging forgiveness for having slipped up and said that Taiwan was a country.

White monkeys are not necessarily individuals. Companies such as Disney or other Hollywood production companies could also be considered as such, since they bend to the designs of the PRCP in exchange for the money offered by the Chinese market.

There would also be white monkeys among politicians, who would be accepting Chinese money to fight more for the interests of the Chinese Communist Party than those of their voters.

While in China – despite the prevailing control and censorship – people use terms such as baizuo and white monkey on a daily basis, in the West in general and in America in particular, we seem to live oblivious to the influence, manipulation and control exercised by the Chinese Communist Party both within and outside its borders.

Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.

Social Networks: @ignaciomgm

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