Three Questions on ‘Western Values’ in Education

Three Questions on ‘Western Values’ in Education

Donald Clarke translates three questions from Shen Kui, former vice dean of Peking University Law School, to education minister Yuan Guiren following his recent condemnation of textbooks that “promote Western values” and “slander the Chinese Communist Party.” Shen requests clarification of these two terms, and warns Yuan that “the least bit of incaution could mean a violation of the Constitution or the law.”

How do we distinguish “Western values” from “Chinese values”? As everyone knows, the specter of Communism that hovered over Europe almost two centuries ago, after crossing mountains and seas to get to China, helped bring about the birth of the Chinese Communist Party; the Marxism that our current Constitution stipulates we must uphold, and the education in internationalism, communism, dialectical materialism, and historical materialism that the current Constitution stipulates we must undertake, are all from the West and have influenced China. There are countless examples of Western learning traveling east. Let me ask Minister Yuan, would it be possible for you to clearly delineate the line between “Western values” from “Chinese values”? [Source]

Xi Jinping has recently placed renewed stress on the importance of dialectical materialism and “core socialist values.”


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