Chinese universities start 'Xi Thought' institutes
Beijing (AFP) - Xi Jinping Thought will now be taught, researched and promoted in universities across China, ensuring that the leader's eponymous philosophy is implanted in students' hearts and minds.
At least twenty universities have established research institutes for Xi's ideology, which was enshrined in the Communist Party's constitution during its 19th national congress this month.
The distinction places Xi on a par with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. It means that his dogma -- "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" -- will become a mantra for a new generation.
According to media reports Sunday, the research institutes will not "hide in the ivory tower" but advocate the incorporation of Xi thought in all aspects of daily life.
"We will gather many experts and professors to disseminate and preach Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in businesses, neighbourhoods and villages," Jiang Hongxin, head of Hunan Normal University's newly-founded Xi Thought research centre, told the People's Daily, the party mouthpiece.
Liu Ying, party secretary of the Tianjin University of Technology's Communist Youth League, told AFP the idea of forming a Xi Thought "learning group" came to her spontaneously during his marathon speech at the congress's opening.
"After studying these ideas, students will have more confidence not only in the country, but also in their own lives," she said. "They will have a greater belief in the Chinese dream" -- one of Xi's pet slogans.
Planned activities for the group include tours to promote Xi Thought in rural communities and visits to Liangjiahe, the northern village where Xi spent seven years as a "sent-down youth" during the Cultural Revolution.
Liu's attitude mirrors that of many institute directors, who in interviews with Chinese media over the weekend espoused a deep devotion to spreading Xi-isms.
"The (research) centre has a unique duty, which is to push forward Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in curriculums, in classrooms and in minds," Chen Xianda, a professor at Renmin University of China, told the Beijing-based Guangming Daily.
One institute director said the lessons must "enter brains and hearts," while another said the Xi Thought organisation would "guide the entire school, from top to bottom, in implementing the spirit of the 19th congress".
The education ministry also released guidelines Monday for mandatory elementary and high school extracurricular programmes that include activities to "foster emotional attachment to the Chinese Communist Party".