1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why's Beijing So Worried About Western Values Affecting China's Youth

Discussion in 'General News from other countries' started by Internationalteacher, 5 Feb 2017.

  1. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter AKA phuketbound

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    267
    This is a long, but excellent article for anyone interested.

    There is an ongoing dialogue on Reddit.


    Why's Beijing So Worried About Western Values Affecting China's Youth

    February 4, 2016
    Eric Fish

    In early December, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered the country’s universities to “adhere to the correct political orientation.”

    Speaking at a conference on ideology and politics in China’s colleges, he stressed that schools must uphold the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership and “guide the broad masses of teachers and students to be strong believers” in Marxist theories and socialist core values.

    The conference had the highest profile attendee roster of any education event in recent memory: top university officials, representatives from the country’s military and propaganda apparatuses, and four of the seven members of the all powerful Politburo Standing Committee. In case Xi’s speech left any doubt as to the meeting’s purpose, China’s education minister explained it in an article the following day. “Schools,” he wrote, “are the prime targets for the infiltration of hostile forces.”

    For years, China’s leaders have feared that they’re losing their grip on the ideological loyalty of the country’s youth. According to official rhetoric, the forces wresting away young minds are cultural warfare waged through alluring foreign pop culture and the infiltration of “Western values.”

    With the Party firmly in control and no obvious stirrings of a youth-led insurrection, it would be easy to write off this sentiment as paranoia. But according to researchers who study youth attitudes and how they are shaped by popular culture from the West, the commissars may not be so far off the mark. A series of surveys conducted over the past decade have found that many Chinese college students—perhaps even a majority of them—prefer elements of liberal democracy to China’s one-party system. “I think there is a real threat,” said Stanley Rosen, a University of Southern California political scientist who researches the relationship between Chinese youth and the state. “Certainly they’ve interpreted [the collapse of Communism] in Russia and Eastern Europe, at least in part, to the infiltration of Western culture.”

    - See more at: Why’s Beijing So Worried About Western Values Infecting China’s Youth? | ChinaFile

    This is just a small clip of the article. It is quite sad to see that 'communism' still exists in this world.
     
  2. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2011
    Messages:
    5,629
    Likes Received:
    675
    Agreed

    It is equally depressing to see that capitalism still exists.
     
  3. portnoy58

    portnoy58 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Mar 2011
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    341
    I don't know ... this is my first experience of living in a communist country and before the only communist country I had ever visited was Romania. I marvel at what I see of modern China - virtually everything that is around me is significantly less than 30 years old. I am talking simply about the physical world - roads, buildings, towns etc. You can see it has all been planned and it seems to work pretty well. As befits a socialist society there is universal access to cheap health care and education. On the latter front it is worth noting that the Chinese, if I dare to stereotype, appear to value 'education' ( whatever that may be) very highly. The Chinese youth, and indeed many of the young adults and older folk too, with which I engage appear to be very positive and optimistic. So I need to acknowledge that there is some good in this communist system. Personally blocking access to FB and the Google empire may in fact be doing the yoof of China some good!!
     
    sirchai likes this.
  4. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter AKA phuketbound

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    267
    Alright, then what do you think of the article? Now we know about your experience?

    Schools are prime targets for infiltration of hostile forces? Western values?
    Does he mean Like freedom, democracy, and critical thinking which are not valued in a communist society.

    You say Chinese people value education, but what type of education? Most Chinese public schools are very communist in that they teach a rote learning type of style and Chinese teacher's are teaching English grammar (which isn't great).

    On the other hand, there are many bilingual schools and international schools that are teaching English by foreigners and Chinese teachers who speak English and China is becoming more westernized on the infrastructure front as well. China is the fastest growing economy in the world and is a superpower. I believe today's students want to move ahead in this day and age and not be stuck under communist rule where they can think for themselves and watch youtube videos/facebook whenever they please.
     
  5. portnoy58

    portnoy58 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Mar 2011
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    341
    My point is that I am reluctant to be drawn into the syllogism that everything communist is bad driven by and everything western is driven by 'freedom', 'democracy' and 'critical thinking'. We need to balance the Chinese rhetoric with that emanating from Mr Trump and the Brexit nonsense in the UK; add in the assault on the poor which is currently the policy of the Philippine in its so called war against drug dealers.

    Every education system has some sort of underlying ideology often couched in grand sounding terms. In the Middle Ages and before teaching clerics to read and write in Latin and Greek meant not only that they had access to 'approved' sources, such as Plato and Aristotle, which provided the philosophical justification for Christianity but also access to the so called 'profane' writers which might undermine any faith.

    Contrast the life experiences of Adolf Hitler and Nelson Mandela - both the products of very traditional education systems based on typical rote learning. Quite astonishingly different outcomes ...

    I think the students in China and elsewhere will move ahead regardless of the education system and the Communist Party - they can try to suppress Google and Facebook, for example, but the truth is those that want to can access it, but most don't because they are happy using their Chinese equivalents.
     
  6. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter AKA phuketbound

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    267
    ^Thanks for your reply.
    You make some great points, although the government is basically saying western education is bad for communism, which is crazy. It is bad because it allows students to think critically and realize that there are other ways of living out including more rights and freedom.

    This reminds me of a Mao Zedong comment. Chinese society has moved up and on from that I believe, and the younger generation, I believe, are curious. The educated will get vpn's and find out what's out there. There are so many students now studying and living abroad. I've met quite a few both in Canada and in China and their mindset is quite different.
     
  7. gungchang

    gungchang Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 Oct 2011
    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    500
    Mainland China is a paradox. People proudly join the communist party, yet the country resembles South Korea, not North Korea, and Hong Kong is about as capitalist as one can get. When asked about the "one China - two systems" policy, my host replied "We're confused by it."

    As for Mao's influence, strictly following the little red book might be analogous to literal interpretations of the bible. One takes the essence of the writing and applies it to a world far different from the one in which it was written.

    When "western influences" get out of hand, as they did in Dongguan, expect a fist to come down. I don't expect any great changes in the schools.

    This is just my uninformed opinion. Now that China has risen from the ashes and is assuming its role as the 2nd superpower, the Communist Party of China may indeed relax its rule and something remotely resembling a democracy may yet take hold. The crisis of nascent China is over, China has survived, and there isn't the need for a dictatorship that one sees in times of war or economic devastation. I'm not suggesting a replay of the Czech Republic, but central control may give way to increased local autonomy.

    Of course, I'm probably full of bullshit.
     
    portnoy58 likes this.
  8. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter AKA phuketbound

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    267
    I absolutely agree on this, especially in regards to Donald Trump and Brexit,although in the case of Donald Trump he got in because of the electoral colleges vote which is basically the political system in place.

    This would be nice! According to the article, it sounds like they don't want to relax their rule. The whole thought system of the leader doesn't make sense in this day and age imo.
     
  9. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter AKA phuketbound

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    267
    hehe, don't be so hard on yourself, sweety. lol. It is good to hear other people's opinions.
     
  10. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2014
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    359
    You don't see kids getting drunk and doing whatever they want. They are usually very close to their family, and they work hard--especially in high school. They are optimistic, from what I see. Old people are respected--that is nice to see.

    The only thing Communist about China is the name, some vague statements of ideology, and surviving structures in the government. People are scrambling to get rich and send their kids to Oxford, Harvard, or Yale. Whatever their model is, whatever label you want to put on it, it is working and they know it.
     
    portnoy58 likes this.
  11. portnoy58

    portnoy58 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Mar 2011
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    341
    As a young student back in the mid-1970s I recall being struck by the title of a book which one of my peers was reading: Quand la Chine s'éveillera, le monde tremblera . ( "When China wakes, up the world will tremble.') The book had been written by a French diplomat and its title was actually an observation attributed to Napoleon from almost two hundred years earlier. The title of a much more influential book from the 1970s, also originally written in French, Ni Jésus Ni Marx, (Neither Jesus or Marx), by Jean-François Revel, flashes into my mind from nowhere, in summary a statement that the next major ideology will be a combination of the best bits of Christianity and Marxism. Maybe this is what we are living through in these times.
     
  12. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter AKA phuketbound

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    267
    What about limitations on the internet/media? I don't know of any other country that bans youtube, gmail, NY Times, etc.

    The amount of money that people wanting to send their kids to public school is ridiculously high. Most countries I know of public school is free.

    Security measure everywhere watching everything. Getting your stuff scanned going into the subway and onto any train/plane which is shows me that the government doesn't trust their people.
     
  13. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter AKA phuketbound

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    267
    Ha, you always go back to China being about that.
     
    DavidUSA likes this.
  14. gungchang

    gungchang Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 Oct 2011
    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    500
    That was my first impression. How much of South Korea is Chinese surprised me.

    But, the first impression was false. People are proud members of the Chinese Communist Party. The school pays my salary but everybody else is paid by the government. Soldiers lead incoming freshmen in exercise activities. I must report to the police when I travel. The list goes on. In spite of the superficial similarity to the ROK and not the DPRK, I'm not in Kansas anymore. The presence of Hershey's chocolate, Coke, Pepsi, Frito's corn chips, blah blah blah doesn't change that.

    And, while I recently came across a sex shop in Baotou, I don't expect Chinese editions of Penthouse and Playboy magazines anytime soon, as much as I would enjoy a photo of Ling Ling posing nude with an AK47 strategically placed to cover her decadent naughty bits.
     
    DavidUSA likes this.
  15. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Thread Starter AKA phuketbound

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    267
    China is no SK, that's for sure. I see soldiers in their gear marching by the front of my school everyday. When I was at cultural street on Chinese New Year, there were six men in army gear with machine guns around their shoulders.

    In SK I never got scammed. Here I got a fake 100 rmb bill in a taxi. Any store or place that accepts money has to pass the 100's through a machine to check for fakes.
     

Share This Page