BEIJING (AP) — China's president has called for the Communist Party's leadership over the country's universities to be enhanced in a continuing tightening of ideological controls across a wide range of society.
Xi Jinping said higher learning institutions should publicize Marxism, one of the theoretical foundations of the Party, and enhance ideological guidance, the official Xinhua News Agency reported late Monday.
"Enhancing (party) leadership and party-building in the higher-learning institutions is a fundamental guarantee for running socialist universities with Chinese features well," Xi was quoted as saying.
Xi issued the instruction during a two-day meeting that concluded Monday on party building in higher-learning institutions.
Under Xi, China has tightened controls on artists, churches, and others and ordered reporters to undergo training in Marxism to emphasize the ruling party's dominance.
Political indoctrination is part of the curriculum for Chinese students, while Chinese professors have long endured monitoring.
Earlier this year, a Communist Party-run newspaper said it sent reporters to sit in on dozens of university lectures across the country looking for professors "being scornful of China" and found examples of professors praising "Western" ideas such as a separation of powers in government. Many academics took the investigation as an order to watch what they say in classrooms.
Last year, two universities expelled professors who championed free speech and the rule of law. Both Zhang Xuezhong from East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai and Xia Yeliang from Peking University in Beijing said they believed their expulsions were politically motivated to punish them for their views.