From the NY Times today:
… They are out there, hiding in library stacks, whispering in lecture halls, armed with dangerous textbooks and subversive pop quizzes…
…foreign enemies plotting a stealthy academic invasion of Chinese universities.
So says China’s education minister, Yuan Guiren, who has been issuing dire alarms about the threat of foreign ideas on the nation’s college campuses, calling for a ban on textbooks that promote Western values and forbidding criticism of the Communist Party’s leadership in the classroom.
The article continues:
To gird China’s impressionable young minds, Mr. Yuan has been championing new guidelines, issued last month, that call on the country’s higher education institutions to prioritize the teaching of Marxism, ideological loyalty to the party and the views of President Xi Jinping.
He recently described Chinese schools as the “ideological front line” in a battle against concepts like rule of law, civil society and human rights. Any “wrong talk” in social science and philosophy forums, he said, must be silenced.
Given the plethora of empirical evidence indicating the importance to economic growth of human capital accumulation, and a well-developed educational system in nurturing such accumulation, attempts to stifle the higher education system in China appear ill-advised — at least insofar as furthering economic advancement is concerned.