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The Chinese Ministry of Education announced that schools and universities will have to incorporate texts on the political thought of the president and general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Xi Jinping, into their curricula to “help teenagers believe in Marxism.”
The portfolio issued this new guideline on Tuesday, which also aims to “cultivate the successors of socialism” with “a strong moral, intellectual, physical and aesthetic foundation” that will enable them to “form their own political judgments and opinions.”
“Primary schools will focus on fostering love for the country, for the CPC and for socialism. Secondary schools will combine study with perceptual experience, while in universities the emphasis will be on theoretical thinking,” the text stresses.
The ministry adds that “the study of Xi Jinping’s thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the most important task facing both the CPC and the country,” and that “it is necessary to arm the minds of students” with this doctrine.
“We must synthesize it, clarify it. We must also equip students with tools to develop their spirit of sacrifice, as well as notions to learn everything related to the concept of national security,” the text says.
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It also calls for strengthening “revolutionary traditions” in order to “continue to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics”, which Xi considered this 2021 “a unique Chinese path for civilization” that “has created a new model for human progress.”
Xi’s political thought was presented and endorsed practically unanimously at the 19th CCP Congress held in October 2017, and was also inscribed in the Party’s statutes and in the Constitution, which meant equating him with Mao Zedong, the only leader who had reached that level until then.
The reformist leader Deng Xiaoping only managed to get his contribution the status of “theory”, a lower level term, which was interpreted as an unmistakable sign of Xi’s cult of personality in contrast to the collective leadership that Deng promoted to avoid the atrocities of the Maoist period.
Although China has been moving away from the economic foundations of traditional socialism, its government has maintained a strong totalitarian and collectivist approach with the imposition of a single-minded system.
Since 2017, millions of CPC member officials have been required to read Xi’s speeches and study his political theory, which according to the official media of the Asian country represents a “historic contribution” to the development of the Party and the readaptation of Marxism to the contemporary Chinese context.
Likewise, Xi managed in 2018 to have the Chinese Constitution reformed to eliminate the limit of two presidential terms, which will allow him to remain in power beyond 2023, something that must be approved by the 20th CPC Congress, scheduled to be held in October 2022.