An internal two-month-long review on the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department has determined that it is not doing enough to disseminate the Party’s propaganda nation-wide.
The strong criticism came from China’s Central Commission for Discipline, in which government inspectors concluded that the department has “failed to take tough or effective enough action to promote ideology, control the media and the internet and oversee universities and colleges,” South China Morning Post reports.
February of this year, the start of the inspectors’ investigation coincided with a new directive issued by the CCP’s organization of the Ministry of Education that called for “Patriotic Education”. The mandate demanded a new level of education – one which is saturated with messages of absolute devotion to the Party’s ideals, particularly extending to Chinese students studying at universities abroad.
This directive to further control the country’s children (the future leaders of society) and their already narrow view of what it means to be a patriot, apparently was not an aggressive enough step. Who knew that forcing naive children to focus their studies on President Xi Jinping’s “China Dream” of national revival isn’t tough enough?
I certainly thought controlling the minds of the youth would be. The inspectors’ review proves that I was wrong.
When President Xi took office four years ago, he began a harsher crackdown on government surveillance and enforcing citizens’ loyalty to the Party.
Also in February, Xi made highly-publicized visits to state media outlets, stressing that they must swear complete and unadulterated allegiance to the Party.
This past year numerous human rights advocates, activists, and lawyers went missing and were unlawfully detained simply for speaking up about the civil rights of the people, and the government also warned universities against using textbooks that “promote Western values”.
The Central Commission for Discipline’s report was given at its end-of-year-review conference.
Wang Haichen, the lead inspector in charge of the investigation, expressed his disappointment and discontent with the propaganda department’s “efforts”.
The department should better utilize and manage the internet, as well as implement more stringent analyses of textbooks and “its guidance on academic evaluation,” he said on the commission’s website.
“[The department] also needs to further strengthen its leadership in ideological work. There are also weak spots in implementing the principle of ‘the party controls the media’ in new media and it is not forceful enough in coordinating the ideological and political work at universities.”
Continuing his verbal attack on the propaganda department, Wang added further, “[The propaganda department] lacks depth in its research into developing contemporary China’s Marxism. The effect of guiding art and literature to serve socialism and the people was not obvious enough and the news propaganda is not targeted and effective enough.”
On an amusing last note, Wang urged the government to make news propaganda more “appealing and infective”. This sounds like the butt of a joke, though the sad truth is that Wang was not joking.