A Lesson for the Politburo Standing Committee

The current . stands in the center. (People’s Daily/)

Political commenter has revealed an encounter with a lecturer to the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) on Weibo:

I recently heard a teacher talk about his experience giving a lecture to the Politburo Standing Committee. It goes something like this: About six months prior, Genie asks the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Central Party School, the Development Research Center of the State Council, and every university to choose potential lecturers. After a rigorous vetting process, all of those selected are put in a hotel to prepare the lessons together. The drafts are given to the relevant ministries or commissions to check, depending on the issues touched upon, and the instructors are told what they cannot say. Thus the drafts are revised again and again. At the time of the lecture, the instructor cannot depart from the script. The result is that “I use my own words to reiterate the Number One ideology.”


Genie” is a cute name for the Central Department. Some netizens were taken aback that even the country’s highest leadership does not receive unfiltered information:

刘亚伟-: Genie is brainwashing the leaders?


一目十行已忘: If this is true, then a certain committee member’s breadth is by no means “great.”


Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore, recently said of Xi Jinping, “He struck me as a man of great breadth. I would put him in the Nelson Mandela class of persons.”

磨系辅导员: Yep, when our boss hears a lecture, he feels like he’s met his soulmate, someone who really understands him.

佛学作家明一居士: I know two “national teachers.” It’s pretty much like this.


timonkun: This is the modern version of Shuntian Times.


The Shuntian Times (literally “Obey Heaven Times”) was founded in the early 1900s in the Japanese legation of Beijing and was funded by Japanese investors. In the early years of the Republic of China, ’s son, , had “special issues” of the paper made and delivered to his father which urged a return to the imperial political system. The elder Yuan became the first president of the republic in 1912. After a brief campaign to restore the monarchy, the elder Yuan was elected emperor by the National People’s Representative Assembly on December 11, 1915. The unpopular Empire of China lasted only until the following spring, and the weakened republican government was restored in March 1916.

The Shuntian Times, nicknamed the “Disobey Heaven Times” and boycotted in many Chinese cities, folded in 1930.

李晋宁: It’s better not to lecture than to lecture like this. [The leaders] will not be warned, dissuaded, or protected from the mistaken and the improper; on the contrary, the experts will prove them right and make them more intractable. What’s the difference between this and the younger Yuan’s fake edition of the Shuntian Times?


培伦爸爸: It would be fine if there were just acting, but worse if they are really into it. When the Number One finds to his surprise that the experts and professors just “happen” to have the same ideas as himself, he’ll be even more determined to walk the “correct path.”


山行老翁1: When you are giving a lecture, everything other than your voice is set by the Party.


唐建光: A mutually-deceptive society.


Read more comments at CDT Chinese.

Translation by Mengyu Dong.