Maoist ideologues in China, buoyed by President Xi Jinping’s regime, are making a comeback in China, going after bloggers, journalists, and academics who oppose the Communist Party’s doctrine.
“They pounce on bloggers who dare mock their beloved Chairman Mao. They scour the nation’s classrooms and newspapers for strains of Western-inspired liberal heresies,” reports The New York Times (NYT). “And they have taken down professors, journalists and others deemed disloyal to Communist Party orthodoxy.”
The Times adds:
China’s Maoist ideologues are resurgent after languishing in the political desert, buoyed by President Xi Jinping’s traditionalist tilt and emboldened by internal party decrees that have declared open season on Chinese academics, artists and party cadres seen as insufficiently red.
Mr. Xi has fueled and commended the ideologues’ assault against dissenters.
The Chinese President “has been intensifying his focus on perceived ideological opponents, sending ripples through universities, publishing houses and the news media and emboldening hard-liners who have hailed him as a worthy successor to Mao Zedong,” explains NYT.
Last week, China’s official news agency, Xinhua, reported that Mr. Xi has urged higher learning institutions to “publicize Marxism, one of the theoretical foundations of the Party, and enhance ideological guidance.”
China’s President has called on officials to purge the nation of ideas that run counter to China’s communist roots.
“Never allow singing to a tune contrary to the party center,” he wrote, reports the Times. “Never allow eating the Communist Party’s food and then smashing the Communist Party’s cooking pots.”
Xi has launched a campaign against Western-inspired ideas that his administration believes are primarily harbored at the country’s universities.
“China watchers all need to stop saying this is all for show or that he’s turning left to turn right,” Christopher K. Johnson, an expert on China at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the Times. “This is a core part of the guy’s personality. The leftists certainly feel he’s their guy.”
Johnson formerly served as a senior China analyst at the CIA.