Have you ever imagined yourself networking with newspaper and website editors to force the latest censorship directives down their throats, or to threaten them with disciplinary action? Have you ever been so moved by the consummate greatness of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its enlightened leadership that you need to shout it to the whole world?
Your dream begins now.
China’s Ministry of Human Resources has posted its 2023 call for the hiring of positions within the CCP’s Central Propaganda Department and its subsidiary departments. This would include branches like the Overseas Promotion Office (对外推广局), the International Communications Office (国际传播局), and the Overseas News Office (对外新闻局). It would also include related entities masquerading as private enterprises and driving external propaganda internationally — the likes of the China International Communications Group (对外称中国国际传播集团), or CICG, and the China International Communication Center (五洲传播中心), or CICC.
If censorship and propaganda, both at home and abroad, are your cup of tea, then the Central Propaganda Department has just a few basic requirements.
First, you will need to be a citizen of the People’s Republic of China — sorry foreigners. Next, and this is critical, which is why it tops the list, you must “be firm in your political position” (政治立场坚定), and that position must of course be the CCP’s position. This means — as the announcement says — that you must “support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the socialist system, be firm in upholding the ‘Four Consciousnesses,’ resolute in the ‘Four Confidences,’ and must achieve the ‘Two Safeguards.’”
If you do not know what these phrases mean, you are probably best not to apply for a position. But they are essentially about the emphasis on Xi Jinping as the “core” of the Party and the fountainhead of the ideas propelling it into the glorious future. The first of the “Two Safeguards” is about the need to protect the “core,” meaning Xi himself. Meanwhile, the “Four Consciousnesses” are about the need to 1) maintain political integrity, 2) think in big-picture terms, 3) uphold the leadership “core” (again, Xi Jinping), and 4) keep in alignment with the CCP’s central leadership.
Beyond holding the above as a matter of faith and practice, the successful job candidate must “maintain a high degree of consistency with the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core in ideology, politics and action, and be ready to join work in propaganda, ideology and culture with conviction.”
Is this you?
There are a host of other prerequisites in the propaganda department announcement, including age requirements. Those with undergraduate level education must not be older than 24; those with master’s degree level education must not be older than 27; and those with PhDs must not be older than 35. But candidates who feel they meet the necessary requirements need only fill out the “Central Propaganda Department Units 2023 Open Recruitment Application Form” (中宣部直属单位2023年度公开招聘报名表) to begin the rigorous process involving a credentials check, written tests and face-to-face interviews, a physical health check, an on-the-spot investigation (for example, at the candidate’s school), and finally the singing of the employment agreement.
According to the announcement, there are an estimated 114 positions to be made available at 21 subordinate units of the Central Propaganda Department. That means plenty of opportunities for those willing to check their sense of dignity and conscience at the door. All others need not apply.