Chinese government bans textbooks from promoting 'Western values'

Material that criticises the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is off-limits

FILE: Chinese students
FILE: Chinese students

Textbooks promoting “Western values” should never appear in Chinese classrooms, China’s education minister has said.

Yuan Guiren said universities should “never let textbooks promoting Western values appear in our classes”, the country’s state run Xinhua news agency reports

The remarks follow comments last year from the country’s president Xi Jinping calling for “leadership and guidance” for students to “improve the ideological and political” side of their studies.

Speaking at a conference about education Mr Yuan said that materials that “slander the leadership of the Communist Party of China, smear socialism or violate the country's constitution and laws must never appear or be promoted in college classrooms”.

A leaked Chinese Communist Party document revealed in 2013 warned against the promotion of ‘Western values’ such as constitutionalism, freedom of the press, and respect for civil society.

A number of Chinese academics teaching frowned-upon material have faced a crackdown from authorities in recent years.

Economics professor Ilham Tohti was sentenced to life in prison last year after advocating the rights of the country's Muslim Uighur minority during lectures he gave at Minzu University in Beijing.

Separately, law professor Zhang Xuehong was allegedly sacked by the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai after he refused to apologise for writing articles criticising the government.

In 2010 former Conservative education minister Michael Gove said he wanted to "implement a cultural revolution just like the one they’ve had in China" in Britain's schools.

"Schools in the Far East are turning out students who are working at an altogether higher level than our own," he wrote in a comment piece in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

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