Dylan Walker

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Dylan Austin Walker is a Boston activist.

China

An American named Dylan Walker, who is a Communist Party USA member and is currently studying at Beijing Language and Culture University, has recently become a hot topic on Chinese social media.

First, the 21-year-old turned heads with his TV performance during the National Day of the People’s Republic of China on October 1. A special program called “Sing It Out Loud for China,” organised on SMG Shanghai TV, invited singers from different countries to sing songs praising China in Putonghua (Mandarin). After the performance, each singer were asked to say something positive about China.

Walkersang “China Dream and My Dream,” a popular song released in 2013 that echos Chinese President Xi Jinping’s dream of a great revitalisation of the nation:

On the TV program’s official account on popular social media program Weibo, he won applause. The Weibo post introduced Walker as:

Wu Danran [Dylan Walker’s Chinese name] has studied Chinese since first grade, and is now on the stage of #SingItOutLoudForChina. He is going to perform “China Dream, My Dream.” He has been in China for almost two years and he has found life in China too convenient. Not only for transportation, he doesn’t have to bring his wallet because of the existence of [online payment options] Alipay and WeChat!

Then, Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the Global Times released an interview with Walker on October 20 amid the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th National Congress. The video has been viewed 78,000 times on Chinese video platform miaopai, but the comment function has been suspended.

In the interview, he says he first visited China in 2012, where he became inspired by former Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong’s thinking:

I think communism is the most advanced and the ideal social and political system. We just want to make sure everyone can get access to basic welfare and rights.[…] When I came to China for the first time, I bought versions of the “Quotations from Chairman Mao” in both English and Chinese. I read it almost everyday after I going back to the U.S. I kept it with me during class and I read it when I have time after classes. If I hadn’t learn from the quotations, I wouldn’t have joined the Communist Party USA. So Chairman Mao and the Communist Party of China have a special place in my heart.
The CPC now is admirable for me. Especially since President Xi Jinping took office, the corruption crackdown has swept nationwide.[…] Every time when I browse the website of the People’s Daily and Global Times, I can see such reports almost every day as corrupted officials get arrested. […] What’s terrible is that a communist might have doubts towards communism and socialism, and then loses this belief and faith. Just like what President Xi said before, some communist members lack ‘calcium’ that is lack of belief in communism and Marxism.

Walker has been studying in Beijing for almost two years. He has a Chinese girlfriend and has been interviewed by many official media outlets. This is not the first time he appeared on Chinese TV program.

On mainland Chinese social media, you can’t find any negative comments about Walker’s performance and interview. However, Twitter, which is currently blocked in China, is a different story.

Users who have managed to climb the “Great Firewall” to access the US-based social network have called Walker a “foreign 50 center,” a reference to the “50 cent army” of internet commentators paid by the Chinese government to manipulate public opinion.[1]

China trip

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On October 14-15, 2017, Communist Party USA Boston members Wadi'h Halabi and Dylan Walker participated in the 8th World Socialism Forum of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. The theme of the international gathering focused on the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution in Russia and applying lessons from it to an examination of the "Temporal Characteristics of the Great Transformation Era, and Socialism with Chinese Characteristics."

Comrade Halabi, a member of the CPUSA Economics Commission and the Center for Marxist Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts was invited to address the forum, speaking on the topic "What is the greatest honor we can pay the October Revolution?"

Halabi pointed out that "the Great October Socialist Revolution was probably the single greatest step forward in human history. It strengthened Marxism and the working class. The Revolution gave birth to all Communist Parties worldwide, and to the Communist International."

He continued, "It is true the Comintern suffered serious weaknesses, especially after Lenin’s death. These led, for example, to the severe defeat suffered by the Communist Party and workers in China in 1927. Some of the causes for the Comintern’s weaknesses and errors are discussed here. They are not reason to reject unity among Communist Parties, but it is essential to identify why they developed and to address them. The greatest honor we can pay to the October Revolution is to rebuild international Communist unity."[2]

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