Xinhua Insight: CPC campaigns to restore moral compass [Xinhua]

I’m skeptical that primary school students and teachers bowing to each other constitutes educating the students about ‘core socialist values’…it seems Confucianist/Neo-Confucianist – Zuo Shou

BEIJING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) — Students of Tsinghua University Primary School in Beijing know all about China’s drive to improve its citizens’ etiquette as they get used to a new requirement to bow when meeting teachers and parents on campus.

The prestigious school enforced the rule to answer government calls to educate children with a set of moral principles, namely “core socialist values.” This doctrine has been encouraged by the Communist Party of China (CPC) since its 18th Party Congress in November 2012, but the campaign has ramped up this week since a renewing address by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On Monday morning, the first day of the school semester, a ceremony was held in the biting cold of the playground. More than 1,600 students in uniform bowed to teachers simultaneously and the latter responded in kind.

“Core socialist values include patriotism and friendship. We help our children start with bowing, a practice to show respect and one that is valued by our traditional culture,” Principal Dou Guimei told local media.

The move epitomized a nationwide campaign to rebuild faith amid concerns that the world’s second-largest economy has to some extent lost its moral compass, a price paid for its three-decade economic miracle.

A “moral vacuum” has been perceived in private and public life, exemplified by pervasive money worship and extreme individualism, as well as endless scandals concerning corruption, food safety and environmental pollution.

In addition, a spate of violence and molestation against children, with some cases perpetrated by teachers and public servants, has prompted rounds of soul-searching among the public.

The latest instruction on reclaiming the moral high ground was delivered by Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, on Monday, when he called for greater efforts to set up a socialist value system with Chinese characteristics in line with a new era.

The 18th Party Congress specified core socialist values as prosperity, democracy, civility, harmony, freedom, equality, justice, the rule of law, patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendship.

In December, the CPC issued a detailed guideline on bolstering these values, ordering them to be incorporated into the school curriculum, urging media to spread moral righteousness and prodding Party members and officials to take the lead in practicing the principles.

The targets of the guideline have sprung into action. For example, TV stations across China have devoted considerably more air time to public service advertisements and broadcasts championing social values. Local governments have moved to reward Good Samaritans to inspire more good deeds.

Moreover, the ruling party has beefed up its anti-corruption campaign, vowing to crack down on both high-ranking and low-level corrupt officials — “tigers” and “flies,” as Xi put it…

Editor: An

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-02/21/c_133133694.htm
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Also see related article: “China Focus: China trumpets ‘core socialist values’ amid moral decline [Xinhua] – http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-02/17/c_133121953.htm

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