Geoffrey York: 69 million Communists urged to toe the line

From The Globe and Mail:

It could be the biggest mass-indoctrination campaign that China has experienced since the Cultural Revolution.

Over the next year, more than 55 million Chinese people will be inculcated with Communist Party ideology in a series of Maoist-style “study sessions” and “self-criticisms.” It’s believed to be the most ambitious and far-reaching such campaign in China since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976.

While China has surged ahead with capitalist reforms in recent years, its political rulers have remained stuck in the mindset and methods of the 1970s, still seeking to bolster their power with heavy-handed thought-control tactics.

The latest campaign, however, is struggling to overcome the mounting cynicism and apathy of many Chinese Communist members.

The internal campaign began in January and has already covered 14 million Communist members. Now the campaign is entering its full flowering, with the vast majority of the party’s 69 million members facing orders to attend sessions over the next 12 months. The campaign also extends to universities, where compulsory classes on ideology and morals will be required for all first-year students.


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