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China universities ordered to ban "Western" textbooks

Feb 2: China has ordered universities to ban the use of imported textbooks to stem the influence of Western values on the younger generation as President Xi Jinping's ideological tightening expands to campuses, official media reported.

"Never let textbooks promoting Western values appear in our classes," Education Minister Yuan Guiren told university officials.

"Remarks that slander the leadership of the Communist Party of China" and "smear socialism" must not appear in college classrooms, he said at a symposium that was attended by the heads of leading Chinese institutions, including Peking University and Tsinghua University.

China varsities ordered to ban

The universities in China are run by the ruling Communist party that regulates discussions on history and other topics considered sensitive to its grip on power.

The move to ban the imported textbooks marks the latest step in President Xi's ideological campaign, which has seen the media and the internet come under even tighter controls and is now being expanded to Chinese campuses, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

Yuan cited a joint directive from the State Council and the General Office of the Communist Party's Central Committee for the order, state-run Xinhua reported. Speech of any kind that brought shame to party leaders and socialism must be banned in class, Xinhua quoted the minister 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 Post report 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.

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