BEIJING (AFP) – China’s education minister has vowed to ban university textbooks which promote “Western values”, state media said, in the latest sign of ideological tightening under President Xi Jinping.
“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.
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.
Beijing and Hong Kong authorities blamed recent student-led demonstrations in Hong Kong calling for greater democracy in the former British colony on “foreign forces”, although no evidence has been cited.
China has tightened controls on academics since Xi assumed the party leadership in 2012, with several outspoken professors sacked or jailed.