In China, universities seek to plant ‘Xi Thought’ in minds of students


BEIJING (Reuters) – Armed with interactive online courses, generous funding and new dedicated research institutes, China’s universities are on the frontlines of an effort to promote the thinking of President Xi Jinping to China and the world.

Since October, many universities across China have placed “Xi Thought” at the core of their curricula – the first time since the era of Mao Zedong that a Chinese leader has been accorded similar academic stature.

Mandatory ideology classes have been updated by the universities in response to instruction from the leadership that Xi’s ideas must enter the textbooks, classrooms and minds of students.

For Hu Angang, an economics professor at the prestigious Tsinghua University and an expert in the field of “Chinese exceptionalism”, the emergence of a leader like China has been a long time coming.

Hu has for decades argued that China’s unique political system would eventually guide the country to become a superpower on par with the United States.

Now he is among a growing number of thinkers studying what is officially known as “Xi Jinping Thought for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” and disseminating it to students and officials.

“Xi’s proposals are all beneficial for the world, they are incomparable,” Hu said in his office on the Tsinghua campus in northwest Beijing.