Shantou University in Guangdong province has been accused by the Chinese Communist Party for failing to toe the Party’s ideological line and for its global outlook on political and social affairs.
The South China Morning Post reported that a Communist Party inspector condemned the University for being “weak in playing the role of political leadership and political correctness” and “untimely in implementing decisions from the central and provincial party leadership”. The University has been instructed to more closely monitor internet activity of students and faculty, as well as to “enhance management” of foreign teachers (which includes Pulitzer Prize-winners at the journalism school), and to select school leaders by looking at their political backgrounds.
Under President Xi Jinping’s leadership, the CCP has tightened its grip on institutions of higher education, think tanks, news organizations, and the media. Chinese universities have been instructed to avoid teaching topics as universal values, press freedom, and civil rights. According to the South China Morning Post, Xi has “vowed to turn campuses into ‘strongholds of the party’s leadership’ that ensure orthodox Marxism dominates the thinking of academics and students”. This mindset has also afflicted many liberal Chinese news organizations and think tanks, including the Unirule Institute of Economics and the academic journal Yanhuo Chunqiu.
With self-censorship on the rise in Hong Kong, I hope that the CCP’s efforts to stifle voices of dissent in China will not besiege the city’s pro-democracy forces.