No ′Western values′ in universities, says China education minister | News | DW | 30.01.2015
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No 'Western values' in universities, says China education minister

China's education minister has called for strict adherence to communist ideology in university teaching. His remarks come after a number of academics have been dismissed or even imprisoned for their views.

China's education minister Yuan Guiren has vowed to ban university textbooks seen as promoting Western values, state media said on Friday, in another sign of an ideological clampdown under President Xi Jinping.

Universities must not allow any remarks directed against party leaders or socialist ideology, Yuan was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

Yuan also said that professors should "not complain, vent personal grievances or convey negative emotions to their students," according to Xinhua, but instead "promote the ideas of Chinese President Xi Jinping in teaching materials, classrooms and our minds."

The ruling Communist Party in China often describes concepts such as mulitparty elections and the separation of powers as "Western."

The minister's comments were made at an academic conference on Thursday, attended by the heads of leading institutions including Peking University and Tsinghua University, Xinhua said.

Ideological restraints

They come amid a widening crackdown on dissidents under President Xi that has led to a number of academics suffering sacking or even imprisonment for espousing views critical of government policy.

Last year, outspoken economics professor Xia Yeliang was expelled from Peking University after calling for democratic reforms. Another economics professor, Ilham Tohti, was sentenced to life imprisonment in September on separatism charges after he championed the rights of the country's Muslim Uighur minority during lectures at Minzu University in Beijing.

Seven of his students were also sentenced to jail terms of between three to eight years on separatism charges.

China's universities are all run by the Communist Party, which keeps a close watch on any discussions or teaching that it sees as a potential threat to its power.

tj/gb (AP, AFP, dpa)