Print Version    Email to Friend
No party criticism please

BEIJING (AsiaNews): The prestigious Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, considered one of the most liberal hollows of expression in China, has issued directives forbidding the faculty to utter any critical word against the constitution or any of the leaders in the Chinese Communist Party in the classroom.

On January 11, the office of the rector decreed 10 topics that teachers will not be allowed to mention in the classroom. The first three prohibitions include criticising the constitution, criticising the Communist Party and spreading religion or superstition.

In December last year, the president of China, Xi Jinping, declared his intention to transform universities into strongholds of party leadership, which strongly support correct political direction.

The 10 new government bans follow the directives of the Seven Habits issued in 2013 to place control on the spread of online news.

Other restrictions in the new guidelines at Sun Yat-sen include the use of cellphones during lessons and drinking after class.

These new provisions aim to “enhance the professional standards of teachers, promote and instill good moral teaching and improve the sense of sacredness and admiration for teaching.”

Some professors who have dared to criticise the Communist authorities or its leaders have been punished. Deng Xiaochao, from Shandong Jianzhu University, was forced to resign for criticising Mao Zedong on his Weibo account.

Deng placed his offending post on the 123th anniversary of Mao’s birth.

Mao died on 9 September 1976, but is still officially revered by the Communist Party and, while he is esteemed by the people, he is also a controversial figure.

The 62-year-old Deng is a professor of art and criticised Mao over the famine that caused three million deaths, as well as for his role in the Cultural Revolution.

Without naming names, Deng wrote, “Being an imperial ruler in China takes skill, you should turn your yellow robe to patched clothes, anointing a celebration of a newborn state, turning concubines into female entertainment soldiers.

“You should call hereditary rulers revolutionary comrades and change the emperor’s edict into a supreme instruction. But don’t be honest about it.”

More from this section