Chinese education authorities have pledged to redouble efforts to control the use of imported textbooks in Chinese universities to stem the influence of Western values on the younger generation.
The move marks the latest step in President Xi Jinping’s ideological campaign, which has seen the media and the internet come under even tighter controls and is now being expanded to Chinese campuses.
Education Minister Yuan Guiren urged the universities to exert tighter control over the use of imported textbooks at a symposium on Thursday that was attended by the heads of leading Chinese institutes including Peking University and Tsinghua University.
Citing a joint directive from the State Council and the General Office of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, Yuan said Chinese universities must not allow books that promote Western values to be used in classes, the official Xinhua reported.
Speech of any kind that brought shame to party leaders and socialism must be banned in class, Xinhua quoted Yuan as saying. Teachers must also not grumble in class to avoid “passing on negative emotions to their students”, he added.
Earlier this month, the universities were instructed to step up propaganda and teaching of Marxism and Chinese socialism to ensure such values would “get into the students’ heads”. The institutes would be assessed on their use of set textbooks on Marxism, the authorities said.
Last Saturday, the party’s flagship journal Qiushi raised concerns about academic freedom in China after it lashed out at outspoken Peking University law professor He Weifang for defaming the Chinese legal system by spreading Western ideology.