China vows no ‘Western values’ in universities

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BEIJING: China’s education minister has vowed to ban university textbooks that promote “Western values”, state media said, in the latest sign of ideological tightening under President Xi Jinping.

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“Never let textbooks promoting Western values appear in our classes,” minister Yuan Guiren said, according to a report late Thursday by China’s official Xinhua news agency.

“Remarks that slander the leadership of the Communist Party of China” and “smear socialism” must never appear in college classrooms, he added according to Xinhua.

China’s universities are run by the ruling Communist party, which tightly controls discussions of history and other topics it construes as a potential threat to its grip on power.

The party often brands concepts such as multiparty elections and the separation of powers as “Western”, despite their global appeal and application.

China has tightened controls on academics since President Xi Jinping assumed the party leadership in 2012, with several outspoken professors sacked or jailed.

Xia Yeliang, an economics professor at the prestigious Peking University, was fired from his post in 2013 after a 13-year tenure in a decision he attributed to persistent calls for political change in China.

Xia was one of the original signatories of the reformist petition Charter 08, whose main author Liu Xiaobo remains in prison even after winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

The university attributed the dismissal to poor teaching, and he moved to the US last year.

Yuan’s remarks came a month after Xi called for authorities to increase the Communist party’s leadership of universities, and to “strengthen and improve ideological work”.

Teachers must “stand firm and hold the “political, legal and moral bottom line,” Yuan added, using a common expression for support of China’s authoritarian political system.

A Chinese province last month announced plans to install CCTV cameras in university classrooms, sparking an outcry from lawyers who say the move would further curb academic freedom.

Authorities have in the past installed video equipment in the classrooms of outspoken academics, most notably Uighur economics professor Ilham Tohti, who was sentenced to life in prison for separatism in September.

Evidence from the classroom cameras was used to convict the scholar, in a case that was condemned by human rights groups.

China has greatly expanded its higher education system as its economy has grown, with the total number of universities and colleges more than doubling in the past decade.

AFP

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1 Comment

  1. Whist not really wanting to side with such draconian methods of control ,I can understand the Chinese attitude..

    Coming from a western country; first UK the Australia .I am struck by the huge differences ,

    Here in the Philippines,the children are in the main respectful,Whilst in the main the western kids; are Discourteous, and disrespectful..

    They think that the adults have “Gone by their expiry dates ”

    They are spoiled; loud and obnoxious ..

    They will answer back their parents or any adult if they feel like it..

    Here i the main the kids are in the main well behaved –they don’t scream and use the “F” word every five minutes

    If you get on a bus or Tram –You are very lucky if a kid will give you a seat ..

    If you as an adult dare to admonish a kid about his rude behavior–You will be lucky if he or even she, does not attack you if they are teenagers

    ,,I myself; have had kids maybe 6 or 7 scream filthy obscenities.:because I warned the bus driver ,they were hanging on the back of his bus //

    Maybe i should of let them get themselves killed ,I thought later..

    This is the kind of society that the west has engendered..

    A society where what you have ;what you wear is the most important aspect..

    For many, it does not matter too much how you get it ..So long as you have it..

    It is a society that is selfish and spoiled,acting out, as adults, like the spoiled children that they were..

    I can see why the Leaders of a country such as china would not want there young adults; to become like many westerners are..

    Having said that; the methods that the Chinese leaders employ; are much to harsh and extreme in my view’

    Although, having lived in the western world for so many years –I think allot of our unruly youngsters could do with a big kick up the rear end,

    I remain yours
    humbly

    David M Meyer MD. DPM .Phd