• Chinese Communist Party in ideology crackdown

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    BEIJING: China’s Communist Party is pushing ideological orthodoxy and demanding government officials reconfirm their faith in “socialism with Chinese” characteristics, a newspaper with close ties to the party reported on Monday.

    A recent circular from the ruling party’s powerful Orga–nization Department said that officials must be prevented from “being disoriented and losing themselves” to the effect of Western ideals, the Global Times tabloid reported.

    Such Western ideals included constitutional democracy, universal values and civil society, the report said, though it added that other influences such as superstition and religion should also be guarded against.

    According to the report, the circular also requires Communist Party schools and institutes to emphasize traditional Chinese culture in their teaching, stressing that officials must protect China’s spiritual independence and shun becoming a “yes-man for Western moral values.”

    The report also noted that officials at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the top state-run think tank, said earlier in July that its main standards for evaluating officials and researchers are ideology and political discipline.

    That came after they received a warning from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party enforcement organ.

    The huge party, which was founded 93 years ago and has ruled China since 1949, perio–dically goes through ideological spasms, often when it is in the midst of intense internal political disputes or leaders feel China is under threat.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, party general secretary since November 2012, has vowed to restore China to greatness, and is also simultaneously pushing a much-publicized campaign to cleanse the party of corruption.

    The Global Times quoted a Beijing-based professor of political science as saying that China should set up its own system of core values to resist Western values.

    “The present problem is not a result of the penetration of Western ideology,” said the professor, who was not named.

    The party, the largest in the world, gained 1.56 million members last year, it announced last month, though growth in membership slowed from 2012.

    The party had 86.7 million members at the end of 2013, the Organization Department said — more than the entire population of Germany.

    The 1.8 percent year-on-year increase was slower than the 3.1 percent gain in 2012, with the party attributing the decrease to new controls implemented in order to “develop the quality of party members.”

    AFP

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