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.

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