Mar 23, 2018

China introduces "Xi Jinping Thought" in the classroom

Students in Huaibei waving national flags as they watch Xi give a speech. Photo: STR / AFP / Getty Images

The Communist Party is reworking its ideological education efforts to make them more palatable to the current generation, while introducing classes on “Xi Jinping Thought.”

The Wall Street Journal takes a look:

"Xi Jinping Thought is a 14-point theory that emphasizes the party’s “people-centric” approach to governance, as well as its supreme leadership over everything in China. Enthusiasm for studying it has been mixed. Beijing’s prestigious Peking University this month scrapped an undergraduate course on Xi Jinping Thought, citing insufficient interest... Another Beijing undergraduate called the ideology requirement “stupid”—but said such classes have become more engaging, with debates and use of multimedia such as opera performances and student-made videos. State media has also touted other efforts, including rap music devoted to Marx and virtual-reality simulations of the Long March".

As part of the massive government reorganization plan released earlier this week, China Daily writes that the party is establishing a new central leading group on education to:

  • “[E]nhance the CPC Central Committee's centralized and unified leadership in the area, speeding up modernization of China's educational system and meeting the people's demands for education.”
  • Improved political education will be part of its remit.

My thought bubble: When I was a student in a Chinese university in the early 1990s, I remember similar complaints about the stupidity of the political study classes. But the Communist Party won’t give up, and especially in the “New Era” under Xi in which party leadership of everything is the focus, we should expect intensifying efforts to force feed “Xi Jinping Thought” to students.

Go deeper

What top CEOs fear telling America about the coronavirus shutdown

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Top CEOs, in private conversations and pleas to President Trump, are warning of economic catastrophe if America doesn't begin planning for a phased return to work as soon as May, corporate leaders tell Axios.

Why it matters: The CEOs say massive numbers of companies, big and small, could go under if business and government don't start urgent talks about ways groups of workers can return.

Health care workers vs. the coronavirus

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images, Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, and Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images

Health care workers are at an especially high risk of catching the coronavirus, because of their prolonged exposure to patients who have it. Making matters worse, the U.S. doesn't have enough of the protective equipment, like masks and gloves, that keeps them safe.

And yet these workers, with loved ones of their own, keep showing up at hospitals across the country, knowing that more Americans than they can possibly care for are depending on them.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus crisis tests Trump’s love for cheap oil

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President Trump is working to help an oil industry imploding as the coronavirus crisis chokes demand, but listen closely and you’ll hear his enduring love for cheap prices.

Why it matters: He’s like most Americans, who worry about energy only when it’s expensive or gone. As president, Trump has been slow and uneven in responding to the sector’s turmoil because of his inclination to cheer rock-bottom prices.