Chinese President Xi Jinping adjusts his clothing during an event to mark the bicentennial of Karl Marx's birth, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Friday, May 4, 2018. Xi praised Karl Marx as "the greatest thinker of modern times," calling his theories a tool for China to "win the future." (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Beijing :China HAs announced plans for a campaign to “enhance patriotism” amongst the country’s intellectuals. The move is seen as an attempt to counter discontent amongst academicians, some of whom have criticised President Xi Jinping recently.
The campaign will be “launched mainly among young and middle-aged intellectuals at schools, research institutes, enterprises and public institutes,” according to a notice released by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s Organisation Department and the Publicity Department last week.
China’s top economic official will visit Washington next week to resume trade talks with the Trump administration, the White House said on Monday, after discussions in Beijing last week yielded no agreement on a long list of U.S. trade demands.
The key aspect of the initiative will be to strengthen the “political guidance” of intellectuals and bring their “ideological and political identification” in line with the party’s overall goals.
The campaign has been called “Carrying forward the spirit of patriotic striving and building up establishment in the new era”.
It will include special symposiums to study Xi’s thought, special training for intellectuals, and mobilising intellectuals to conduct activities in poor and remote areas. Xi has recently been tested with the escalating trade war with the US and a fake vaccine scandal leading to some degree of domestic discontent.
This seemed to have boiled over when Xu Zhangrun, a professor at the Beijing-based Tsinghua University, wrote an essay that was widely shared on social media. The article titled “Imminent fears, immediate hopes” talked about tightened ideological control, China’s excessive international aid and the constitutional revision which allows Xi to rule for life. Xu had called for the reversal of this amendment and also suggested that under the present leadership, China was being pushed towards the Maoist totalitarianism.