The CLR James Journal

Volume 29, Issue 1/2, Fall 2023

Yue Qiu
Pages 165-194

A Forgotten Revolutionary Solidarity
The Echoes of the Haitian Revolution in China

Though a few scholars have discussed the transnational engagement of Caribbean thinkers with China, hitherto unknown is the imaginative alliance Left-wing Chinese writers crafted with the Caribbean via their works on the Haitian Revolution. This paper explores writings by four Chinese Marxists—Li Chunhui, Wang Chunliang, Lu Guojun, and Mao Xianglin—who engaged with Caribbean intellectuals, like Eric Williams, and used the history of the first anti-colonial revolution to rethink China’s own decolonial experiment. During the Maoist era, these thinkers argued for the independence of the Haitian Revolution from the French Revolution, imagining Haiti’s revolutions as prefigurations of Third-World Revolution. In the deradicalized Deng era, these writers held contradictory stances towards capitalism, stressing how old and neocolonialism plundered Haiti. By reducing Sino-Caribbean relations to the Chinese diaspora in the Caribbean, or to the recent Belt and Road Initiative, scholars overlook lost revolutionary solidarities that aimed to dismantle world white supremacy.