Communist and post-Communist oppression China | 29 February 2024

China: Universities come under closer scrutiny

Show: false / Country: China /

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has come a step closer to taking direct control of universities, reported Radio Free Asia on 18 January 2024.

World Watch Research (WWR) analyst Thomas Muller explains: “New regulations are forcing the merger of the university presidents’ offices with the Party Committee, thus creating a unified leadership. While the latter already had a say in the universities’ day to day management, and all universities are bound by the Communist Party’s laws and ideology anyway, this merger may turn out to be more than just symbolic: It could further curtail any freedoms universities still have enjoyed, including academic freedom.”

Thomas Muller widens the view to education in general: “The Patriotic Education Law was already highlighted by WWR last year (WWR, 20 July 2023). Now, the National Joint Conference of Religious Groups have issued guidelines on how to implement the law in their context, as reported by Bitter Winter on 12 January 2024. There are no surprises as the guidelines are all based on ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’ as well as Xi Jinping’s speech on religion in 2016. (China Source, 27 April 2016). The fact that the term “patriotism” is used 14 times in the brief guidelines shows where the emphasis is being laid. And, of course, Sinicization is mentioned too. In that respect, it should be emphasized that the CCP is not aiming for cultural assimilation, which would be natural for a non-indigenous religion, but for political domestication and – ultimately – control (Christianity Today, 19 January 2024). In an excellent analysis, Professor Carsten T. Vala showed how the 2023 Regulations for Religious Activity Site Registration work and how practical the limits on Christians are (China Source, 8 February 2024). It should also be noted that the trend to indict and sentence Christians for alleged fraud (and not because of their religion) is getting stronger, according to a report by China Aid from 26 January 2024.”


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