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The historical creation of two Chinas produced rigid definitions of Marxism and liberalism. However, this event also gave rise to a geopolitically mediated Chinese queer theory whose materialist hallmark distinguishes it from liberal-pluralist theories in the United States that begin with in the concept of social identity. Examining the elision between political liberalism (queer freedom) and economic liberalism (free trade) in PRC and ROC political discourses, this chapter argues that the Cold War ideological construction of Marxist and liberal economies translates into a developmentalist thinking today that uses the emergence of queer cultures as a metric to assess the extent to which non-Western cultures have evolved into liberal states under globalization. Chinese queer theory critiques such developmentalist theory and proposes instead that queer subjects are produced and reproduced by impersonal, structural, and systemic workings of geopolitical power that have a materialist basis we often forgot too quickly.

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