Author: CMP Staff

Fandoms in the Crosshairs

On August 27, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the chief body for internet regulation and censorship, announced new measures that state media referred to as a “heightened crackdown” on China’s so-called “fandom culture,” or fanquan wenhua (饭圈文化). These measures capped a series of actions by the Chinese government this year to tighten control of private internet companies – including a punishing anti-trust fine for Alibaba, the suspension of 25 mobile apps operated by ride-hailing giant Didi Global, restrictions on China’s educational technology market,  online gaming curbs and draft regulations limiting the use of “algorithmic promotional services.” 

Since the internet clean-up campaign was formally launched by the CAC back in May, much coverage in the state media has focused on the above-mentioned actions as a matter of moral urgency. The official discourse from the CAC has stressed the need to “strengthen moral construction in the online space” (加强网络空间道德建设). And fandom culture in particular has been characterized as an attack on the “moral bottom line,” “poisoning China’s youth” (毒害青少年).

While there certainly are any number of legitimate concerns in Chinese cyberspace that might be pursued in the public interest, from protecting privacy rights and data security, to grappling with problems like cyber-bullying and doxing, a closer look at the official discourse around these moves to “cleanse” China’s internet elucidates a clear underlying objective – the re-consolidation of the Chinese Communist Party’s dominance over ideology and public opinion in order to maintain political control.

Moves in recent weeks and months to curb the influence of fandom culture are a clear case in point. For many Chinese youth, fandom culture has been a rare arena of choice, self-identification and community formation. For the Party-state, however, these online communities, although formed around shared infatuations that can seem effete and shallow, pose a real challenge to the CCP’s control of ideas and agendas.

From Idol Worship to Shared Community

Fandom culture can be traced back to the idol worship of the 1980s and 1990s, following on trends in South Korea and Japan. In the past, idols were selected and produced by talent scouts or TV shows and then promoted through traditional media. As a result, there was a sense of distance between the idol and their fan base, and idols were seen as superior and unreachable. In the era of interactive new media, however, the gap between fans and idols has snapped shut.

Today, communities of fans, or “fandoms,” have parasocial interactions with their idols that seem far more intimate. According to Lin Pin (林品), a researcher at China’s Capital Normal University: “This kind of idol industry, which has emerged along with China’s digital transformation and the popularity of Gen Z-focussed services like live-streaming, provides fans with a certain type of intimate relationship, or ‘quasi-intimacy,’ whereby fans can imagine themselves as an idol’s girlfriend, wife, sister, boyfriend, husband and so on. Back in the 80s, referring to yourself as your idol’s girlfriend would be seen as pathological, but the fandom culture nowadays completely normalises it.”

For many fans, participation in fandoms has been empowering as well as entertaining, enabling them to actively support and promote their favourite idols. “The rise of fan circles is understandable because they meet the fans’ needs for socializing and self-realization,” Zhang Sining of the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences told the China Daily last month. One example of this process of self-realization can be seen in the hit show “Idol Producer” (偶像练习生), launched in January 2018 on the Chinese online video platform iQiyi. The show allowed fans to directly choose and promote aspiring idols from among 100 contestants, the group pared down over four months to just nine performers forming a male idol group (偶像男团). Fans closely following “Idol Producer” devoted a great deal of time organizing events on Weibo and other social media platforms to promote their chosen idols, then just trainees, and to help them make their debuts.

A promotional poster for Nine Percent, the male idol group comprising the finalists of the 2018 iQiyi show “Idol Producer.”

Fandoms for Social and Political Activism

Viewed purely as entertainment, this type of interaction and opinion formation may seem like innocent fun. But fandom culture also has the potential to impact the ideas and values of China’s youth, particularly those born in the 2000s. And it can give rise to organized communities of interest that impact on other issues and agendas.

In the early stages of the Covid-19 epidemic in China in early 2020, as the government responded slowly on many fronts to immediate challenges like lack of protective equipment, private voluntary groups online offered a crucial avenue of support. The existing networked structures arising from fandom culture were in fact the informal infrastructure that empowered a rapid response in the midst of crisis. “They are a huge population, are well-organized, and have a clear division of labor, giving them an explosive power many would find astonishing,” the Shenzhen-based scholar Chen Chun wrote of fandoms in March 2020.

On January 21, 2020, the day after China confirmed human-to-human transmission of Covid-19, the fan network of Chinese actor Zhu Yilong (朱一龙), organized a charity support platform that solicited donations to purchase more than 200,000 protective masks and other supplies that were sent to the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, within 24 hours.

Fandoms were also organized across borders, one prominent example being the so-called “666 Alliance” (666联盟), a group connecting 27 fandoms from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, with members across the globe. Within days of Wuhan’s lockdown in 2020, the alliance had mobilized to respond to the crisis, with clear division of labor. By January 30, the “666 Alliance” had donated at least 410,000 yuan worth of essential medical supplies, including 30,000 sets of disposable surgical gloves, 1,000 face shields and 8,200 sets of protective coveralls. And all of this equipment was in transit to Wuhan.

The organizational power of China’s fandoms was by this time already evident to anyone studying the phenomenon of online nationalism. Fandom networks were instrumental in the planning and execution, for example, of the so-called “Diba Expedition” (帝吧出征), a self-organized campaign by online fan communities from China to defend the nation in the midst of the Hong Kong protests in 2019. As scholar Du Yannan wrote of this 2019 campaign: “The results indicate that collective fandom actions are enabled by the fandom communities’ collaborative organization, clear division of labor, and proficient digital media skills. These contribute to the speedy nationalist mobilization.”

In the context of “fandom nationalism,” the Party-state has often been obliquely supportive of the actions of fandom culture to the extent that they support national objectives. While state media coverage of the recent campaign to “rectify chaos” in fandom culture has stressed problems like cyber-bullying and doxing, state media have in fact encouraged such behaviour in the past when it has served the Party-state agenda around sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Given the clear power of fandom culture to mobilize youth for collaborative solutions around shared concerns, from the fortunes of a beloved star to political events in Hong Kong, it was only a matter of time before the government sought to restrain them.  

Idols and Ideology

Official scrutiny of fandoms in China came into focus from February to July last year in the wake of what became known as the “227 Incident” (227事件), an online controversy surrounding the actor and internet idol Xiao Zhan (肖战). Xiao, who had starred in the 2019 television series “The Untamed” (陈情令), had millions of adoring fans, connecting online through dedicated fan sites and chatrooms. One such site was “Archive Of Our Own,” known also as “AO3,” a global science fiction and fantasy platform allowing users to freely create their own fanworks, including fictional tributes to idols. The site was the recipient of a “Best Related Work” award at the Hugos, the annual science fiction and fantasy awards, in 2019.

In January 2020, AO3 was host to a work of fan fiction called “Falling” (下坠) that centered on Xiao and his 2019 male co-star Wang Yibo (王一博). While many of Xiao Zhan’s fans enjoyed “Falling,” a work fairly typical of the popular gay fiction genre known as “Boys’ love,” “BL” for short, the overt homoeroticism of several installments of the series in February infuriated some. Fans unhappy with this fictional portrayal of their idol, Xiao Zhan, retaliated by reporting the AO3 website to government authorities, who responded not just by targeting the series but by blocking access to the entire website in China. Furious in turn with this attack on a cherished space for self-expression, fans in China then launched an aggressive campaign against Xiao Zhan and his fan community that included a boycott of brands with which Xiao had been associated, including the likes of Cartier and Estée Lauder. Xiao Zhan vanished from the Chinese internet and social media as brands and platforms rushed to distance themselves from his sudden toxicity.

Screenshot from the 2019 series “The Untamed,” starring Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo, who inspired fan fiction, including the controversial 2020 work “Falling.”

The storm of attacks and counter-attacks, of cyber-bullying and doxing, that resulted from the “227 Incident,” named such because it broke out on February 27, prompted the Xiao Zhan Studio to issue an apology on March 1, expressing regret for the incident, which it said had “occupied certain public resources” in the midst of an epidemic.

For state media in China, the “227 Incident” was one of the most obvious illustrations of the social consequences of the dramatic growth of fandom culture in the country. In early May, Guangming Daily (光明日报), a newspaper published by the CCP’s Central Propaganda Department, addressed the incident in an article called “A Philosophical Reflection on Fandom Culture” (饭圈文化的哲学省思). The article explored the potential impact of fandoms on Chinese culture from theoretical and psychological perspectives, and it spoke of fandom culture in terms of pathologies (病态).

Beneath the discourse of pathology, however, the article hinted at the broader political and ideological implications of the fandom phenomenon as it became a kind of “religionized” (宗教化) pursuit of celebrities. In its conclusion, the article voiced concern over the impact fandoms might have on “other ideologies,” an unmistakable reference to the dominant ideology of the CCP:

Therefore, the need for self-identity construction and the indiscriminate promotion of fandoms across many aspects, has caused fandoms to constantly intrude upon or subsume other ideologies to form a fierce and aggressive, and highly-organized machine. As for its possible future trajectory, and the potential social influence in broader arenas, this must not be underestimated. Perhaps from their birth, the trajectory of fandoms has been one of conquest and expansion.  

In Chinese official discourse, such concerns have since 1989 generally centered on the phrase “correct guidance of public opinion,” or zhengque yulun daoxiang (正确舆论导向), the need to maintain political stability by leveraging media and internet controls to set the agenda and establish the CCP’s policies and ideology as the “mainstream” (主流), Mirroring this official prerogative, the Weibo platform announced in mid-July that it had meet with members of Xiao Zhan Studio on July 9 to stress that celebrities like Xiao should be responsible for “guiding and restraining fan behaviour.” At the same time, Xiao Zhan issued a public apology saying that “I do have a duty to ‘guide correctly and to actively advocate [for the correct values].”   

An apology from Xiao Zhan Studio issued on July 14, stating the celebrity has a duty to help ensure “correct guidance.”

Yet again mirroring official language on internet controls, the apology affirmed that both Xiao Zhan and his studio had a duty along with fans and the public to ensure a “clean and healthy internet environment” (风清气正的网络环境). This is identical language to that used routinely in official documents and the state media in the Xi Jinping era to refer to internet governance, “correct guidance of public opinion,” and “positive energy” (the need for uplifting and pro-Party messaging over criticism and negativity).

Buttoning Up China’s Youth

The official discourse on fandom culture in recent months makes it clear that concerns over the impact on the CCP’s “mainstream” ideology are the driving factor, even if this concern is enveloped in moral language. On August 9, Zhejiang Online, a website operated by the Zhejiang provincial government, wrote that fandom culture demanded better guidance of China’s youth across media and education:

In the face of fandom culture, helping young people ‘button the first buttons of their lives’ is of crucial importance. Along with digitalization and the emergence of the information age, the value of the ‘traffic economy’ has been prominent in the market, and the commercial logical behind this is self-evident. To eradicate this ‘chronic problem’ requires not only the correct guidance of online media but also the carrying out of targeted work to guide the youth in education.

Buttoning up China’s youth meant restraining commercial impulses and establishing “correct values” and correct cultural views. It is an apt image to describe the overall agenda of the internet clean-up campaign: to ensure that youth communities online are constrained and confined by the imperatives of the CCP, dressed up as moral imperatives. On August 23, the official China Media Group wrote in an article on fandom culture on its news app that fandoms had become “communities of interest” (利益共同体) that spread poor morals and values, and that “the time had come to drive out evil and support the upright”  (驱邪扶正). In this process, the entertainment industry and online platforms, the article said, had “a responsibility to serve a guidance role.”

As fandom culture in China has come under fire, such moral language has predominated across Chinese media. There is talk of “rectification” or “remediation” (整治), of  “moral bottom lines” (道德的底线), of trends that are “deformed” (畸形). When the Cyberspace Administration of China issued its “Notice on Further Strengthening the Management of ‘Fandom’ Chaos” (关于进一步加强“饭圈”乱象治理的通知) on August 27, however, the notice concluded with a revealing line about the need for the authorities across China to “improve [their] political position” (提高政治站位). This is explicit language (for students of Chinese discourse at any rate) about the need to uphold the power and position of Xi Jinping and the central leadership (including the “442 formula”). The language was immediately followed in the notice with a statement about the urgency of “safeguarding political security and ideological security online” (维护网上政治安全和意识形态安全).

There are certainly excesses to fandom culture that demand greater attention. Cyber-bullying and doxing are very real concerns, as is the right to privacy. But beneath the veneer of professed moral concern over these issues, which have routinely been disregarded when politically expedient, the official discourse points clearly to politics and ideology as the overriding motivations. China’s fandoms are in the cross-hairs because they have become organized and potentially powerful communities of young people, pursuing interests and values that potentially at odds with the CCP’s “mainstream” agendas.

Trapped

The following is CMP’s translation of an eyewitness account recorded by Freezing Point intern Lu Siwei (卢思薇), and edited by Chen Zhuo (陈卓), of one passenger’s experiences on the night of July 20 as she was trapped inside a subway car on Zhengzhou’s Metro Line 5 — as the tunnels surged with rising floodwaters.

The eyewitness account was shared by Freezing Point yesterday through its WeChat public account. Freezing Point is a supplement of the China Youth Daily newspaper, published by the Chinese Communist Youth League. Launched in January 1995, the supplement became known in the years that followed more its in-depth coverage of social and political issues through essays and long-form writing. Reorganized in January 2006 after several of its pieces fell afoul of censors in the Central Propaganda Department, Freezing Point has trudged along ever since, though without the influence it once had under editors Li Datong (李大同)and Lu Yuegang (卢跃刚).

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The Account of a Person Trapped Inside a Subway Car on Zhengzhou’s Line 5:  Water Outside the Car is Above Human Height, and Oxygen Inside the Car is Lacking

China Youth Daily / Freezing Point

Many people had no idea that the rains would fall so relentlessly. Beginning on July 17, Zhengzhou experienced rainfall such as has rarely been seen. The data shows that the single-day rainfall in Zhengzhou surpassed historical extremes (since the establishment of monitoring stations), and single-hour rainfall exceeded the daily historical extremes. The amount of rainfall in Zhengzhou over the past three days has approached average total rainfall during normal years.

Vehicles were overturned by water on the roads and the first floors of many buildings were backed up by flood water. Trains were stopped, public transportation blocked, and many people were prevented from getting home.

On July 20, the Wulongkou Parking Lot for Zhengzhou Metro Line 5 and the area surrounding it became serious flooded. At around 6PM the same day the water flowed over a retaining wall and entered the main line section, causing trains in the Metro Line 5 tunnels at Haitansi Street Station and Shakou Road Station to stop running. Flood waters backed up into the underground tunnels and inside Line 5 trains, and passengers were trapped inside the cars. During this time, news and videos continually emerged from inside the Line 5 trains, as water in the cars rose to the chests and even heads of the passengers.

Rescuers arrived at the scene quickly after being notified by the public. By 3:10 AM on July 21, all the people trapped in the subway tunnel had been brought to safety. According to official figures, more than 500 people were evacuated in the incident, 12 people died after rescue attempts were futile, and 5 people were sent to the hospital with injuries. The following is an account as dictated by one of those trapped [inside the trains].

An image shared on social media on July 20 of passengers trapped inside a subway car on Zhengzhou’s Metro Line 5.

In the afternoon of July 20, I took the train from Central Business District Station on the Zhengzhou Metro Line 5 to head home. Probably because of the rainy weather, there weren’t too many people at the station. The subway did not run smoothly, and starting from the Huanghe Road Station there were emergency stops and other issues. Passengers still boarded along the way, so I didn’t think there was any serious problem.

The accident happened between Haitansi Street Station and Shakou Road Station. In fact, as the train arrived at Haitansi Street Station, an emergency stop was already made. But afterward the train continued ahead. At the time, I thought we would quickly reach Shakou Road Station. But before long that train had stopped once again.

Looking out from the carriage, you could already see the water rushing upward on both sides. At the time the conductor walked from the front of the train all the way to the back, and he maintained constant contact with [personnel] above ground. The conductor also tried to take the train back to Haitansi Street Station. But by that time, probably because the subway had automatic safety procedures in place, the train was locked on top of the tracks and there was no way to move. At that time, we could see sparks flashing on the tracks.

Gradually, water started pouring into the carriages. At first, most of the people in the car were gathered at the rear, but because the subway traveled from east to west, and the terrain in the west was higher than in the east, the water rose more quickly toward the back of the train, so at the conductor’s instruction everyone kept moving toward the front part of the train. As we reached the head of the train, the conductor opened the door of the car in the very front.

It was then that I learned that the subway has an internal pedestrian passage. Heeding the conductor’s command, everyone grabbed the railing and continued walking along the subway track. At that time, we must have been very close to the Shakou Road Station, and I felt that it might be just over two hundred meters away. A small group of people at the front had reached a relatively safe position, but the water coming from behind was very rapid and violent, and the pedestrian passage under the subway was extremely narrow and crowded, so not everyone could get through, and most people were forced to go back to the carriage halfway through the attempt. The conductor closed the door again and kept contact with ground personnel, awaiting rescue [crews].

During the time we were trapped in the subway, at least in my section of the car, the overall situation was still OK. Perhaps because I’m not so courageous, I had already begun to cry as I saw water entering from the rear of the train — not making a sound, just tears running down my face. Some others around me were crying or extremely anxious, and others in the same carriage would come over and comfort us. There was one girl in the carriage who kept everyone orderly and calmed us down. Everyone seemed to have agreed not to say anything demoralizing. In the end, most people chose just to stay silent in order to keep up their strength.

Everyone was trying hard to make contact with the outside world in various ways — dialing 119 or 110, contacting family and friends for assistance . . . . but the results were not very heartening. Probably everyone [around the city] was busy contacting rescue crews, and the phone network was maxed, so it was difficult for family members and friends outside to reach one another.

Fortunately, one woman inside the train was later able to reach rescue crews outside. Once she made contact, she continued letting everyone inside the carriage know the situation with the rescue crews outside. For example, that rescue crews had arrived at the exit, that they were setting up a rope for rescue, that they were placing sandbags, and so on.

The most terrible time was around 9PM that evening, as the water outside the window reached the height of a person, and looking back you could see that water at the back half of the train had already reached the top. Everyone moved forward and gathered in the first three cars, and at the time I was in the space between cars 1 and 2, right in the middle of the group. Water continued to rise, and the second half of the group were in basically up to their necks, and toward the front the water reached our chests. It was at this time that hypoxic conditions began. One by one, people all around showed signs of hypoxia, hypoglycemia, shivering, gasping for air, dry vomiting. There were children, pregnant women and the elderly in the train who began suffering a variety of physical issues, mostly due to the long hours standing in the water.

I recall that at the time that woman who was relaying rescue information to us from outside said the government had begun pumping water in the back. At the time, though, I felt that one or two pumping machines couldn’t handle such a massive amount of water. So when I heard her say that, I felt really desperate. At that time, I was truly terrified. When I saw the water level outside the cars was over our heads, I began preparing for the possibility that we wouldn’t make it out.

I hadn’t been able to dial out with my phone, but the network could still be used intermittently. Having less than 30 percent battery power at that time, I closed all of my applications to conserve power, leaving only a WeChat so that I could send messages to family and friends. I didn’t dare to talk to my parents, so I sent messages to my cousins and friends. Before 9PM, I kept asking them to contact rescuers, but seeing the water level rise over our heads, my messages to them became about end-of-life concerns.

Inside the car, I could really feel the sense of terror in the people all around me. There was also a little commotion inside the car, as at one point, when the difference in water levels [inside and outside] was most pronounced, someone tried impulsively to smash open the glass door of the car. But on older man stopped him. I feel truly grateful to that uncle. Considering the difference in water levels at the time, if he hadn’t stopped [the man], and the car windows had suddenly been smashed open, the water would have rushed in and surely would have pressed us in and made it impossible to escape.

In the back, things then took a turn for the worse. After the water level outside the carriage reached its crest, the water lines then seem to stabilize somewhat. At the same time, however, our car seemed to have shifted under the impact of the water so that one side was slightly higher than the other. On the higher side, the carriage windows were above the [rushing] body of water [outside]. It was at that time that some people suggested we use the fire extinguisher inside the car to break the windows on the higher side [to let in air] rather than try opening the doors. Once the window of the first car was smashed, the lack of oxygen situation improved significantly, and everyone gradually began resuming normal breathing. Meanwhile, the water level outside did not rise any further. Those of us toward the front of the train also communicated with those toward the back, telling them to use the fire extinguisher to break open the windows. At first there were one or two people saying it. But before long people throughout the car were saying all together, ‘Use the fire extinguisher to break the windows.”

It was also at about that time that rescue workers appeared outside the carriage. They first used the broken window to pass in a tool for breaking out the windows. Inside the cars everyone was passing the window breaker back in a line.

I was closer up toward the front, so I’m not too sure what the situation was behind me, but I remember looking back at the  people in the blackness. Soon after, the rescuers managed to open the conductor’s compartment at the front of the train, and they tried to smash the windows from the outside. But as the process of chiselling at the glass was time consuming, and the car had already been opened in front, they decided not to continue. One after another, everyone was evacuated from the front carriage.

The first to be rescued were probably the two or three pregnant women, who were weak from having stood in the water for so long and from lack of oxygen. The children were rescued next, and then the women. I was among the women to be evacuated earlier on. While the water outside was then flowing more smoothly than before, it was still very fast, especially in the short distance from the carriage to the walkway. The rescuers mostly carried out their rescue efforts from the car to the handrail. As they pulled me up outside the car passengers below helped push me up. All thanks to their support in pushing and pulling me, I could escape from the current. Once I was out of the car and past the rapids, I walked about ten meters, and the water level reached a safer level just below my calves. And in the roughly 200 meters to the exit, we basically held on to each other so that we could walk, those who could walk helping those who couldn’t, following the guidance of the rescue team members up front.

As we reached the exit, we could see that many rescue workers were there trying to hold back the flood. They guided us along the rescue line they had set up so that we could trudge over.  Once we exited the station we could see a lot of people walking back in our direction – rescue workers, medical staff, subway employees, and others whose profession I couldn’t guess, all heading for the subway cars. I could also see those in charge anxiously making phone calls, and employees in subway uniforms inquired about our conditions. Chairs and beds were set up along the walkway. I also saw a young mother and her child on my way out of the station. The child was fine, but the mother was obviously hypoxic and very weak, probably because she had been nursing her child.

From the beginning of the ordeal to our evacuation to safety, the whole thing lasted around four hours. After leaving the station, because the roads in the area were still in a flooded state, I was concerned about manhole covers being washed away, and also about possible electrical leaks, and so I still couldn’t go home and had to stay at a friend’s house.

A Fifth Center Rounds Out Xi’s Hold on Policy

Just yesterday, CMP reported on the launch of the Research Center for Xi Jinping Economic Thought, the fourth major research center dedicated to a Xi Jinping “mini-banner” – our term for a permutation of the leader’s banner term, or qizhiyu (旗帜语), applied to a concrete policy area. Caixin and other media now report today that a fifth research center has been formally launched. The inauguration of the Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization (习近平生态文明思想研究中心) in Beijing means that all five of Xi’s most prominent mini-banners now have dedicated centers associated with them at the central level.

An announcement from the official Xinhua News Agency stressed that “Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization” (习近平生态文明思想) which deals broadly with sustainability and the environment, is “an integral part of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era,” this being the longer banner phrase, introduced into the CCP Charter in 2017, that is meant to define Xi’s legacy and consolidate his position in the leadership.

Three research centers on “Xi Thought” have been launched this year, including the Research Center for Xi Jinping Economic Thought ( (习近平经济思想研究中心) this week, located within the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and the Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law (习近平法治思想研究中心) on June 26, located inside the China Law Society (中国法学会), the official organization representing academic legal professionals in China. This followed the launch in July 2020 of the “Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy” (习近平外交思想研究中心) , placed within the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), a research institute on global politics and economics directly administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). The Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on a Strong Military, covering the mini-banner for national defense, was launched back in May 2019.

For analysis on the significance of these mini-banners, please see our post yesterday.

Another Milestone for Xi Jinping Thought

The People’s Daily reports today that a new center has been established for the study of “Xi Jinping Economic Thought”  (习近平经济思想), a move that can be read as another development in the advancement of Xi Jinping’s legacy slogan — and his consolidation of power ahead of the 20th National Congress of the CCP.

As CMP has noted previously, one key objective of Xi Jinping and his acolytes has been the eventual shortening of the Xi banner term introduced at the 19th National Congress of the CCP in 2017, “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” (习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想), as the more potent “Xi Jinping Thought” (习近平思想). Achieving this would put Xi on par with Mao Zedong among his CCP predecessors, seal his legacy, and help to further consolidate his power.

Shortened permutations of Xi’s official banner term as applied to various policy areas, such as “Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy” (习近平外交思想) and “Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law” (习近平法治思想), have been important stepping stones in this long-term discourse strategy – and related research centers have marked the further formalization of these mini-banners.

A new Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law (习近平法治思想研究中心) was launched just over a week ago, located inside the China Law Society (中国法学会), the official organization representing academic legal professionals in China. And in July last year, the “Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy” (习近平外交思想研究中心) was launched within the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), a research institute on global politics and economics directly administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

Announced today, the new “Research Center for Xi Jinping Economic Thought” (习近平经济思想研究中心) will be located within the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which broadly administers economic planning in the PRC.

Page 4 of today’s People’s Daily, with an announcement at upper-right of the formation of the new “Research Center for Xi Jinping Economic Thought” (习近平经济思想研究中心).

It should be noted that Xi’s banner term has previously been applied to the critical arena of the economy as the longer phrase “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialist Economics for the New Era” (习近平新时代中国特色社会主义经济思想), which means that today’s news is about not just the formation of a new center, but a new and significant shortening of Xi’s economic mini-banner.

Aerospace Executive’s Tantrum Goes Viral

Over the past two days, the news that the executive of an aerospace company brutally attacked two Chinese members of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) last month, putting both in the hospital, has exploded on China’s internet. Though the attack occurred nearly a month ago, on June 6, the case was given new life as a report by Du Wei (杜玮) was released yesterday from China Newsweekly (中国新闻周刊) through its official WeChat public account, Weekly Says (周刊君说), adding key facts to online reports circulating the day before.

According to the report, Zhang Tao (张陶), the chairman and Chinese Communist Party secretary of China Aerospace Investment Holdings (航天投资控股有限公司), was infuriated after two scientists, Wang Jinnian (王晋年) and Wu Meirong (吴美蓉), both IAA academicians, refused after a dinner invitation from Zhang to recommend the executive for membership in the Stockholm-based non-governmental organization, which was founded in 1960. As of July 2, Wang Jinnian and Wu Meirong both remained hospitalized, Wang with broken ribs and multiple bruises across his body, and Wu awaiting surgery for a fractured spine.

According to IAA, the group’s membership consists of “individuals who have distinguished themselves in one of the fields of astronautics or one of the branches of science of fundamental importance for the exploration of space.” Wang Jinnian, 85, was appointed to the IAA’s Board of Trustees in 2019. Zhang Tao, who hoped to join the group, had sought out Wang and Wu to make his proposal over dinner.

Screenshot of coverage of the Zhang Tao affairs by the public account of China Newsweekly.

On July 2, the China Newsweekly reporter, having seen rumours of the resulting confrontation circulating on the internet, sought Wang Jinnian out at his home for his version of events, only then learning that he remained in the hospital. According to a document provided to the reporter by an aerospace industry insider on the case, Wang Jinnian had agreed to meet Zhang Tao at the latter’s request. When Zhang raised the issue of IAA membership, Wang was cautious, saying that because this was the first time they had met the executive and they were unfamiliar with his work, it was best to hold off until they knew more. China Newsweekly reported:

At this point, Zhang Tao, disagreeing with Wang Jinnian, suddenly became furious and got up to strike him. Sitting on the other side, Wu Meirong was terrified by the situation and asked that they leave table. Around 10:30 PM that night, Zhang Tao and his company subordinates accompanied the two academicians back to Wang Jinnian’s Beijing residence. Before Wang Jinnian entered the elevator, Zhang Tao kicked Wang to the ground from behind and started beating him. He later pushed Wu Meirong to the ground and dragged Wang Jinnian out of the elevator to continue beating him.

One aspect of the China Newsweekly story to send the story viral yesterday was the fact, confirmed by staff at China Aerospace Investment Holdings, that Zhang Tao remained at work, having apparently suffered no consequences as a result of his brutal attack on the two men.

But fuel was poured onto the fire with the release online of a document from China Aerospace Science and Technology (航天科技集团), the parent enterprise of China Aerospace Investment Holdings. China Aerospace Science and Technology (CASC) significantly ups the ante for this story as a matter of public interest, and as a concern for the authorities. After all, the Fortune 500 company is the main contractor for China’s space program and, according to its own description, “the leading force of China’s aerospace science and technology industry.”

Apparently issued by the “Party Group Work Department” (党群工作部) at China Aerospace Science and Technology on July 2, as the Zhang Tao affair was picking up pace online, the document was a “Notice” concerning “articles and images of the Zhang Tao affair” circulating on the internet.  

A July 2 notice from China Aerospace Science and Technology cautions Party cadres to stay quiet about the Zhang Tao affair.

The notice reads: “The group has given this matter high priority, and it is in the process of fully understanding the situation. Afterward, according to the true circumstances and abiding by rules and regulations, it will handle [the case].”

Given the graphic nature of the images circulating around the internet and social media of Zhang Tao’s violent actions, and the fact that four weeks have passed without any apparent consequences for the executive, many felt the words stank of a cover up within the aerospace sector. And indeed the final word in the China Aerospace Science and Technology notice laid emphasis on the need to keep things under wraps. “We hope that Party cadres will not spread or disseminate this matter, and will strictly abide by political discipline and political rules,” it said, “making an effort to create a clear and upright public opinion environment.”

Responding on WeChat, the public account “Map Discoveries” (地图的发现) wrote: “The key to a ‘clear and upright’ public opinion environment lies in a clean and upright society, clean and upright cadres, and clean and upright measures to confront corruption and arrogance – not in maintaining silence when ugliness occurs.”

Raise the Banner High

As the Chinese Communist Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper informs the world with great fanfare today, the country’s top leader, Xi Jinping, will be delivering an “important speech” (重要讲话) tomorrow on Tiananmen Square.

Amid the flood of news and speculation about what the festivities will bring, we focus here today on just one key aspect to observe tomorrow as Xi Jinping takes the stage, and as media across China respond, online and offline, to what he has to say. Our question: How will Xi’s banner term, or qizhiyu (旗帜语), appear in coverage in the Party-state media, and what will that tell us about his present status?

The ultimate goal of Xi and his acolytes, as we have said previously, is to elevate Xi’s 16-character banner term, “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for the New Era” (习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想), by abridging it as “Xi Jinping Thought” (习近平思想) and securing its position across the political and ideological landscape. This has not yet been accomplished, though abridged permutations in various policy areas, such as “Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law” and “Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy,” are steps along the path.

As things stand right now, the most common and accepted use of Xi’s banner term, which was added to the Party Charter in 2017, and to the Constitution in 2018, is the lengthy phrase “Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era” (以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导). The pattern here is essentially “with ________ as the guide” (以 ____ 为指导).  This presentation of the banner term has been used quite regularly, as can be seen from this search, and is used in central-level media as well as local and regional media. But it does not pack the punch Xi would certainly like.

The top portion of the front page of today’s People’s Daily, the important space to the right of the masthead announcing tomorrow ceremony in Tiananmen Square and Xi’s much-anticipated speech.  

A second rather common use of the longer banner term is the phrase “Implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era” (贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想), which can be seen in articles like this one from the People’s Daily, urging the study and implementation of Xi’s ideas, and in postings from various government ministries and central-level media.

Either of these first two versions of Xi’s legacy phrase might readily be seen tomorrow and in the days after, and in a wide range of media. But there is another phrase we should be alert for, one that could have greater implications as Xi turns to legacy formation and solidifying his political position ahead of the 20th National Congress of the CCP, to be held in late 2022. That phrase is the aggrandizing pattern, “raising high the great banner of _______” (高举_____伟大旗帜), in Xi’s case giving us the 22-character phrase “raising high the great banner of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for the New Era” (高举习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想伟大旗帜).

That may seem like a mouthful, and counter-intuitive considering that Xi ‘s goal is to go in precisely the other direction, toward the powerfully abridged “Xi Jinping Thought.” But there is an important historical precedent here in banners raised high. The original form was of course Mao Zedong, whose “Mao Zedong Thought” (the banner term Xi most wishes to emulate) was frequently introduced in this way, as in this article in the People’s Daily right at the start of the Cultural Revolution. The phrase “raising high the banner of Mao Zedong Thought” was first used in Party media at the end of 1963, and it was taken up most enthusiastically by the People’s Liberation Army Daily, where it was a hot catchphrase in 1964 while remaining rare in the People’s Daily.

The phrase “raising high the banner of Mao Zedong Thought” appears against a bright red background in the October 1, 1964, edition of the People’s Liberation Army Daily.

“Deng Xiaoping Theory” the only other banner term to include the top leader’s name before Xi achieved his own “crowning” (冠名) in 2017, was also referred to with this pattern from time to time, including by Jiang Zemin. But the “raising high” pattern has not been applied widely at the most senior levels to the banner terms of either of Xi immediate predecessors, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin.

“Raising high” has an unmistakable whiff of supremeness about it, which makes it an excellent extended phrase for local officials to use to signal their loyalty (表态) to Xi Jinping. And the supreme aura of the word also makes it a great candidate for testing the political waters as Xi continues his march toward “Xi Jinping Thought.”

Generally speaking, Xi Jinping’s banner term has appeared with the “raising high” pattern only at public CCP events at the local and regional level (counties, cities and provinces), often on physical banners strung across meeting halls. Below, for example, is an image of the provincial CCP meeting held back in December 2020 in Henan province, with a banner over the heads of the delegates to, well, raise high the banner of Xi’s banner.

An image search with the full “raising high” phrase” and “meeting” returns quite a broad cross-section of uses in recent months in years, nearly all meetings held at the city and provincial level, or below, either posting the banner at venues or including the full phrase in reports of the meeting.

So far, however, the phrase has not been used at the most senior levels, the closest examples being instances in the People’s Daily in which provincial leaders or other less senior officials have paid homage to Xi in the paper’s pages by using the phrase. But there seems to be a clear uptick in use of the phrase in newspapers across the country in June, based on a search of the Qianfang database. While use on a per article basis peaked back in January this year, surpassing 2,000, and fell to nearly 250 for May, the numbers this month are edging back up toward 1,000.

Six days ago, for example, Cui Aimin (崔爱民), Director General of the Consular Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote a piece for the Economic Daily in which he used the “raising high” phrase. Cui’s article was re-published by MOFA on its website. The phrase also appeared yesterday in Jilin Daily, the official mouthpiece of the CCP Committee in Jilin province, as it held a commendation event for the 100th anniversary.

It is possible, though by no means certain, that we could head into July with a surge in use of the “raising high” version of Xi Jinping’s banner term, and this could occur in tandem with greater use of the phrase at the central level. These things, of course, are difficult to foresee. Tomorrow, certainly, Xi Jinping will be riding high as July 1 brings the culmination of propaganda efforts for the year, a peak of triumphalism. But it has also been a rocky path for Xi’s legacy phrases, and the climb to “Xi Jinping Thought” could still be a long one.

Xi’s Legal Buzzword Gets A New Center

Since the formal introduction of Xi Jinping’s banner term, “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for the New Era,” at the 19th National Congress of the CCP in October 2017, a number of shortened permutations of the phrase have emerged to consolidate Xi’s leadership and legacy in various policy areas. Examples include “Xi Jinping Thought on Strengthening the Military” (习近平强军思想), “Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization” (习近平生态文明思想) and “Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy” (习近平外交思想). 

Over the weekend, one of the more widely used short banner phrases, “Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law” (习近平法治思想), was further elevated with the establishment in Beijing of a new research center with approval from the Central Committee of the CCP.

The Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law (习近平法治思想研究中心) is located inside the China Law Society (中国法学会), the official organization representing academic legal professionals in China. In a speech at the launch, the director of the China Law Society, Wang Chen (王晨), a former journalist who was director of the State Council Information Office from 2008 to 2013, said the Xi phrase is “the latest achievement in the Sinicization of Marxist theory on the rule of law.”

As we noted previously at CMP, Xi’s long-term game plan leading up to the 20th National Congress in 2022 is to secure his legacy with the contraction of this unwieldy banner term as “Xi Jinping Thought” (习近平思想), and the rollout of these shortened, area-specific versions is an important part of this process.

An article on page two of the People’s Daily on June 27 yesterday announces the formation of the new center on “Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law” (upper left). Just to the right a report called “Xinjiang Is a Beautiful Place!” quoting foreign artists on an official junket oozing praise for conditions in the region.

State media have continually emphasized that “Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law” stresses the importance of law-based governance. But the ultimate foundation of this vision of governance is not the law but the Party. While people must respect the laws, the laws themselves must protect the Party and be subject to its interests and directives. Legal experts outside China have termed this “rule by law,” noting its fundamental departure from “rule of law” as understood in the UN system, as “a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards.”

The creation of the new Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law came just days after it was reported that millions of legal documents were removed from China Judgments Online, an important database of court judgements from across China that have provided experts with a valuable glimpse into Chinese judicial practice. Interviewed by the SCMP, Beijing-based lawyer Wang Fei expressed concern about the move. “Making the judgments available online was the best reform achievement of the Chinese judiciary in recent years,” he told the newspaper, “and this is very important for safeguarding justice.”

The People’s Daily also reported yesterday that the Central Committee had approved the establishment of a second group of departmental and regional centers for “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.” The seven new centers will be located within the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and the China Law Society, and in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian and Shandong provinces. This brings the total number of approved departmental and regional centers related to Xi’s banner term to 18.

Our Color Must Not Fade

As China marks the centennial of the Chinese Communist Party this year, patriotism and love of the Party have remained central themes across the country. “Our republic is red,” Xi Jinping has said, “and our color must not fade.”

One key focus of the Party’s campaign to secure its position at the center of Chinese life and identity has been the nation’s youth. One of the most commonly seen phrases in Chinese schools in recent months has been “transmitting red genes, telling China’s story well (传承红色基因, 讲好中国故事).

In late May, a high school in Xianyang held a “sharing session” (分享会) on this theme. The audience sat through student-led Powerpoint presentations on the nation’s past, celebrating revolutionary stories and figures, and of course sharing Xi Jinping’s remarks on the importance of drawing lessons from the past.  

On June 5, close to 2,000 students from Chongqing University of Technology were taken on a tour of an exhibition to the spirit of Red Crag, a semi-factual 1961 novel set during the Chinese Civil War that “played a critical role in the heroism culture of the Mao era.” A news release from the university, employing a favored Xi-era phrase for pro-Party positivity, said that students had “gathered more positive energy” (收获了更多正能量) through the visit, and that they could therefore become a “new generation of youth being of use to society.”

Students from Chongqing University of Technology tour an exhibition to the spirit of Red Crag on June 5-6. At right, they stand before a sign that reads: “Transmitting red genes, promoting the Red Crag spirit.”

State media have also been publishing short themes from primary school students on the topic of “transmitting red genes, telling China’s story well,” like this recent one at The Paper, in which a first grader from Hebei province relates the story of Little Hero Yu Lai (小英雄雨来), a fictional tale written in the 1940s by Guan Ye (管桦), about a boy who leads a troupe of children in resisting the invading Japanese. Guan’s tale was published in the People’s Daily on April 4, 1949, under the title, “Yu Lai Is Not Dead” (雨来没有死). April 4 was marked as Children’s Day in China from 1931 through to the designation of International Children’s Day (June 1) by the Soviet Union in November 1949.

This page in the April 4, 1949, edition of the People’s Daily is filled with youth-related content. Aside from Guan Ye’s “Yu Lai Is Not Dead,” there is a story in the upper right-hand corner introducing the Soviet Union’s “Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization,” also known as the “Young Pioneers.” China’s own Young Pioneers organization would not be founded for another six months.

All across the country, students of all ages are being engaged in similar programs to advance “red education” (红色教育), urging them to celebrate the glories of the CCP, its courageous past, and its central role in Chinese life today.

Back in February, the Ministry of Education issued its “Guide to Introducing Teaching Materials on the Revolutionary Tradition Into the Primary and Secondary School Curriculum” (革命传统进中小学课程教材指南), which called for the nationwide implementation of Xi Jinping’s directive to “begin education in revolutionary traditions from childhood” (革命传统教育从娃娃抓起). The next month, the ministry announced a campaign of education in Party history for primary schools at every level across the country. The campaign, “Studying Party history from primary, forever walking with the Party” (从小学党史, 永远跟党走), was designed specifically for the commemoration of the CCP’s centennial. It outlined teaching priorities for local governments and schools, and pointed them to resources like this website, which offers short historical videos produced by the People’s Daily on such topics as “peaceful co-existence” and the “peaceful liberation of Tibet.”

While campaigns of education on CCP history have dominated the headlines this year, the push to double down on history to consolidate the Party’s central position in fact goes back to the second half of the Hu Jintao era. In the Xi era, the phrase “education in the revolutionary tradition must start at childhood” (革命传统教育要从娃娃抓起), which made it into a headline in the People’s Daily yesterday, dates back to a speech Xi Jinping gave in April 2016 on a visit to a revolutionary museum Anhui province’s Jinzhai County. Speaking almost graphically about the need to pass on “red genes” to the next generation, Xi said in that speech: “Education in the revolutionary tradition must begin with children, focusing not just on inculcation with knowledge but also the strengthening of emotional cultivation, so that red genes seep into the blood, and soak into the heart.”

The headline of an article on page nine of yesterday’s People’s Daily reads: “Education in the Revolutionary Tradition Must Start at Childhood” (革命传统教育要从娃娃抓起).

The 13th Five-Year Plan, which established the framework for government policies from 2016 through 2020, explicitly mentioned the development of “red tourism,” an endeavor that picked up pace during the period. According to the “2021 Red Tourism Development Report” (2021红色旅游发展报告), released earlier this week, consumption in the red tourism industry reached 1,287 RMB per capita in 2020, a year severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The report estimated that the total contribution of the red tourism market to China’s economy has already surpassed one trillion yuan each year, “effectively fueling the revitalization of old revolutionary areas.”

Putting the Party at the Center of Education

Xi Jinping, echoing the words of Mao Zedong, has said repeatedly since coming to power that the Chinese Communist Party “rules all.” In October 2017, this signature phrase defining the CCP as the unmovable center of all (党是领导一切) was even entered for the first time into the Party’s Charter.

But how can the leadership ensure that this message is learned and internalized? In China’s universities, maintaining the Party’s centrality is achieved by what is called “ideological and political work” (思想政治工作). And in an era where mobile phones are central to life and education, this work needs to go digital.

Which is why the Central Propaganda Department, along with the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Education and the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League, announced in late May that it would launch “a group of high-quality public accounts for ideological and political work in higher education” (一批优质高校思政类公众号).

 The announcement came with a list of the first public accounts to be launched, a total of 200 accounts in 12 categories, from universities to “knowledge service providers” (essentially, education-related media) and university Youth League branches. The announcement made clear that all public accounts must adhere to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for the New Era (习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想), and must “deeply implement” goals on “strengthening and improving ideological and political work ” as set out by the general secretary.

We include below a comprehensive list in Chinese of the public accounts to be established:

[1] Official University Accounts (40 in total)

一、高校官微(40个)序号 单位 公众号名称 1 北京大学 北京大学 2 清华大学 清华大学 3 北京交通大学 北京交通大学 4 北京科技大学 北京科技大学 5 北京林业大学 北京林业大学 6 南开大学 南开大学 7 天津大学 天津大学 8 大连理工大学 大连理工大学 9 东北大学 东北大学 10 复旦大学 复旦大学 11 上海交通大学 上海交通大学 12 东南大学 东南大学 13 华东师范大学 华东师范大学 14 合肥工业大学 合肥工业大学 15 浙江大学 浙江大学 16 厦门大学 厦门大学 17 中国海洋大学 中国海洋大学 18 武汉大学 武汉大学 19 华中科技大学 华中科技大学 20 华中师范大学 华中师范大学 21 华中农业大学 华中农业大学 22 中南大学 中南大学 23 湖南大学 湖南大学 24 华南理工大学 华南理工大学 25 四川大学 四川大学 26 电子科技大学 电子科技大学 27 西安交通大学 西安交通大学 28 陕西师范大学 陕西师范大学 29 西安电子科技大学 西安电子科技大学 30 西北农林科技大学 西北农林科技大学 31 北京工业大学 北京工业大学 32 上海海事大学 上海海事大学 33 南京航空航天大学 南京航空航天大学 34 江西财经大学 江西财经大学 35 浙江工业大学 浙江工业大学 36 河南大学 河南大学 37 湖北大学 湖北大学 38 华南农业大学 华南农业大学 39 西北大学 西北大学 40 西北工业大学 西北工业大学

[2] National Ideological and Political Work Platforms (4 in total)

二、全国性思政工作平台(4)41 中国大学生在线 中国大学生在线 42 全国高校思想政治工作网 高校思政网 43 易班 易班 44 中国高教学会辅导员工作研究分会 高校辅导员

[3] University Ideology and Politics Innovation and Development Centers (3 in total)

三、高校思政创新发展中心(3个)45 高校思政创新发展中心(北京师范大学) BNU思享者 46 高校思政创新发展中心(北京林业大学) 实践育人创新发展中心 47 高校思政创新发展中心(上海交通大学) 上海交大思政创新发展中心

[4] Three-Way Education Pilot Areas (8 in total)

四、三全育人试点区(8个)48 北京市教育委员会 首都教育 49 天津市教育委员会 津门教育 50 上海市教育委员会 上海教育 51 浙江省教育厅 教育之江 52 安徽省教育厅 安徽省教育厅官微 53 福建省教育厅 福建教育微言 54 湖北省教育厅 湖北省教育厅 55 湖南省教育厅 湘微教育

[5] Three-Way Education Pilot Universities (7 in total)

五、三全育人试点高校(7个)56 中国人民大学 中国人民大学 57 太原理工大学 太原理工大学 58 海南大学 海南大学 59 云南大学 云南大学 60 塔里木大学 塔里木大学 61 武汉生物工程学院 武汉生物工程学院 62 河北工业职业技术学院 河北工业职业技术学院

[6] Party-Building Demonstration Universities (7 in total)

六、党建示范高校(7个)63 哈尔滨工业大学 哈尔滨工业大学 64 同济大学 同济大学 65 中国科学技术大学 中国科学技术大学 66 重庆大学 重庆大学 67 贵州大学 贵州大学 68 西安外事学院 西安外事学院 69 湖南化工职业技术学院 湖南化工职业技术学院

[7] Three-Way Education Pilot Faculties and Departments (9 in total)

七、三全育人试点院系(9个)70 云南师范大学商学院 云南师范大学商学院 71 北京邮电大学电子工程学院 北邮电子工程学院 72 郑州大学化学与分子工程学院 郑大化学 73 安徽师范大学文学院 安徽师大文学院 74 西南交通大学土木工程学院 西南交大土木工程学院 75 东北财经大学工商管理学院 东北财经大学工商管理学院 76 江南大学食品学院 食品小微 77 江苏农牧科技职业学院动物医学院 共创美好动医 78 西南政法大学新闻传播学院 西政新闻传播学院

[8] Party-Building Model Faculties and Departments (10 in total)

八、党建标杆院系(10个)79 北京协和医学院阜外医院党委 中国医学科学院阜外医院 80 上海外国语大学新闻传播学院党总支 薪火相传 81 同济大学建筑与城市规划学院党委 同济大学建筑与城市规划学院 82 浙江师范大学人文学院党委 浙师人文之窗 83 南京大学哲学系党委 南京大学哲学系 84 华南理工大学建筑学院党委 华南理工大学建筑学院 85 西南财经大学金融学院党委 西南财经大学金融学院 86 天津理工大学材料科学与工程学院党委 材聚天理 87 中国矿业大学矿业工程学院党委 阳光矿院 88 北京理工大学机械与车辆学院党委 机车新青年

[9] Knowledge Service Organizations (17 in total)

九、知识服务类机构(17个)89 中国教育报刊社 中国教育报 90 思想理论教育导刊 思想理论教育导刊 91 思想教育研究 思想教育研究 92 思想理论教育 思想理论教育 93 高校思想政治理论课教学活页 高校思想政治理论课教学活页 94 思想政治理论课高精尖创新中心 思想政治理论课高精尖创新中心 95 复旦大学中国研究院 复旦大学中国研究院 96 高校博物馆联盟 全国高校博物馆育人联盟 97 电子科大网文评价中心 全国高校网络文化研究评价中心 98 中国教育电视台《师说》栏目 师说 99 中国教育电视台《我是辅导员》栏目 我是辅导员 100 中央广电总台央视综合频道 时代楷模发布厅 101 《社会主义核心价值观研究》杂志 社会主义核心价值观研究 102 时事报告杂志社 时事报告 103 学习出版社 今天我学习 104 党建杂志社 党建网微平台 105 《半月谈》杂志社 半月谈

[10] University Marxist Academies (16 in total)

十、高校马克思主义学院(16个)106 北京大学马克思主义学院 PKU马院 107 清华大学马克思主义学院 清马来了 108 中国人民大学马克思主义学院 中国人民大学马院 109 北京师范大学马克思主义学院 京师马院 110 南开大学马克思主义学院 南开马院 111 天津大学马克思主义学院 TJU马院 112 东北大学马克思主义学院 东大MARXISM 113 吉林大学马克思主义学院 吉林大学马克思主义学院 114 复旦大学马克思主义学院 复旦思想理论 115 浙江大学马克思主义学院 浙江大学马院 116 山东大学马克思主义学院 马院之声SDU 117 武汉大学马克思主义学院 HANMA 118 华中师范大学马克思主义学院 华中师范大学马克思主义学院 119 中山大学马克思主义学院 中山大学马克思主义学院 120 西南财经大学马克思主义学院 西南财经大学马院 121 西南大学马克思主义学院 西南大学马院

[11] University Youth Leagues (73 in total)

十一、高校共青团(73个)122 北京大学团委 北大青年 123 清华大学团委 清华研读间 124 北京科技大学团委 北科大青年 125 北京中医药大学团委 岐黄青年汇 126 中国矿业大学(北京)团委 青春矿大 127 中国政法大学团委 法大青年 128 中央财经大学团委 神马中财 129 中国人民公安大学团委 公大团宣 130 中国民航大学团委 航大青年 131 天津师范大学团委 继之青年 132 石家庄邮电职业技术学院团委 石邮青年 133 河北农业大学团委 农大青年风尚 134 山西师范大学团委 山西师范大学团委 135 内蒙古农业大学团委 内蒙古农业大学团委 136 内蒙古师范大学团委 内师青春汇 137 大连海事大学团委 大连海事大学团委 138 大连理工大学团委 大连理工大学团委 139 长春财经学院团委 长财青年 140 东北师范大学团委 东师青年 141 东北农业大学团委 掌上东农 142 黑龙江大学团委 黑大青年 143 华东政法大学团委 华政青年 144 华东理工大学团委 小花梨 145 上海交通大学团委 益友sjtu 146 东南大学团委 青年东大说 147 南京大学团委 南大青年 148 南京工业大学团委 南京工业大学团委 149 湖州师范大学团委 湖师青年1958 150 浙江工业大学团委 青春浙工大 151 浙江大学团委 浙江大学团委 152 中国计量大学团委 青春计量 153 浙江师范大学团委 浙师青年 154 合肥工业大学团委 合肥工业大学团委 155 福建师范大学团委 福师大小葵 156 福建农林大学团委 清新农大团委 157 华侨大学团委 华侨大学团委 158 漳州科技职业技术学院 科学家TFTC 159 江西中医药大学团委 江中青年 160 江西师范大学团委 青春师大 161 南昌大学团委 团学时空 162 南昌理工学院团委 南昌理工学院团委 163 山东政法学院团委 山东政法学院团委 164 山东师范大学团委 山东师范大学团委 165 中国石油大学(华东)团委 青春石大 166 河南师范大学团委 河南师范大学团委 167 郑州大学团委 郑州大学青年集结号 168 华北水利水电大学团委 华水青年 169 河南大学团委 河大青年HENU 170 河南科技学院团委 河南科技学院科院青年 171 河南农业大学团委 微晓农大 172 湖北工程学院团委 青春湖工 173 武汉理工大学团委 武汉理工大学团委 174 三峡大学团委 三峡青年 175 湖南农业大学团委 湘农青年 176 中南大学团委 中南小团子 177 湖南师范大学团委 湖南师范大学团委 178 广东科学技术职业学院团委 青春广科 179 广州城建职业学院团委 学在城建 180 广州大学团委 广州大学团委 181 海南师范大学团委 共青小海狮 182 海南大学团委 海大青年汇 183 重庆邮电大学团委 重邮小帮手 184 重庆大学团委 重大青年 185 西南交通大学团委 交大有思 186 西华师范大学团委 新语师大 187 贵州师范大学团委 贵州师范大学团委 188 云南大学团委 云大青年 189 西藏民族大学团委 民大青年 190 西藏大学团委 藏大微青年 191 西安电子科技大学团委 西电青年 192 甘肃政法学院团委 政法青年 193 青海大学团委 青海大学团委 194 新疆大学团委 红湖青年

[12] Others (6 in total)

十二、其他(6个)195 民办高校党建研究分会 民办高校党建与思政 196 同济大学实践育人联盟 全国实践育人暨创新创业工作联盟工作交流信息平台 197 中国传媒大学电视学院 中传新闻传播学部 198 中央美院学生工作部 中央美院学生工作 199 闽江学院 闽江学院 200 本禹志愿服务队研究生支教团 本禹志愿服务队研究生支教团.

Three-Child Policy Spawns Ridicule

China announced yesterday, following a meeting of top Communist Party officials, that it would allow couples to have as many as three children in a measure to encourage a rise in the country’s flagging birth rate, which has prompted concern from long-term economic planners. The policy change, the latest since the one-child policy was formally ended in 2016, quickly met with ridicule on social media.

As young families are struggling already to support a single child as well as four elderly parents, many wanted to know, how could officials expect them to have a second and even a third child — all to support the government’s long-term economic plans?

One user on Weibo contrasted the pragmatism of the pig farmer with the impractical arrogance of the Party apparatchik who simply responds to problems with policy announcements. “In my hometown, if a pig does not birth piglets, the pig farmers always go and look at what exactly the problem is,” they wrote. “Has the drop in vigor resulted from the fact that the enclosure isn’t big enough, the hygiene conditions are poor, or that the pig is under too much pressure? Once the problem is found it can be solved, and naturally the pig will have piglets. You can’t just send down an edict and expect a pig to give birth.”

Another post riffed on the four-character Chinese phrase min bu liao sheng (民不聊生), which means roughly “people have difficulty making a living” but is a composite of characters that literally mean “people” + “don’t/not” + “speak” + “birth/life.” The creator of the post offered this alternative translation of the phrase:

Translation: This points to the fact that owing to the extreme pressures of life people today don’t wish to have children. They don’t even want to talk about it.

A spoof even circulated online of a supposed article from Shanghai’s Observer website, which maintains a staunchly pro-Party stance and has been known to run vacuous pieces of propaganda like this one in February, which referred to the “pioneering and exemplary role” of CCP officials.

The mock Observer article bears the headline: “Party Members and Cadres At All Levels Must Play a Pioneering Role, Leading the Way in Having Third Children.” In a painfully comic illustration of just how ludicrous state propaganda can be, some readers found the spoof believable.

Referring to the original Xinhua News Agency release on the decision emerging from the Politburo meeting, the spoof article said: “In encouraging childbirth, Party members and cadres cannot be absent! Right now, as the state of our aging population is at its most critical point, the task of promoting and encouraging birth and economic and social development is arduous, and we most need to fully bring into play the pioneering model role of Party members and cadres, letting the flag of the Party fly high on the front lines of the struggle.”

It is interesting to note that today, the day after the formal announcement of the news coming out of the Politburo meeting, there is no mention of the policy on the front page of the People’s Daily. The general announcement does come on page two with a Q&A piece on the policy as a response to “improving the population structure,” but there seem to be no accompanying commentaries elsewhere in the paper.

Perhaps too much has already been said.