Row over ‘Western values’[People’s Daily]

from Global Times

Feb 2, 2015

Minister’s ideology criticism sparks discussion

Remarks made by China’s education minister in which he encouraged universities to “never let textbooks promoting Western values appear in our classes” have aroused discussion among the public, with many people criticizing his comments.

Education Minister Yuan Guiren made the remarks on Thursday at a forum in Beijing on improving ideological work in universities and colleges, urging universities to reinforce their ideological management, especially when it relates to textbooks, teaching materials and class lectures.

He told university officials to strengthen their management of the use of textbooks and materials directly imported from Western countries.

Also, the minister said remarks that slander the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), smear socialism or violate the country’s Constitution and laws must never be promoted in college classrooms.

Many Chinese netizens have criticized Yuan’s remarks while some observers claimed that such criticism was generated by confusion and misunderstanding of the meaning of the phrase “Western values.”

“The ‘Western values’ in Yuan’s speech refer to Western political values and ideologies which were introduced into the country after China’s opening-up but cannot fit the country’s reality,” Yin Yungong, an expert on the socialist system at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Yin added that China needs to learn advanced technologies and other useful ideas from Western countries. But some values and ideologies, such as “universal values” should be excluded from classes as they may jeopardize China’s political system and cause instability, Yin argued…

Excerpted; full article link: http://en.people.cn/n/2015/0202/c90882-8844564.html

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