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    » 01/02/2012, 00.00

    CHINA

    Hu Jintao’s cultural war against the West (and Christianity)



    China’s president, who also heads the Communist Party, rails against “hostile” powers who want to “westernise” and divide the country. The struggle includes opposition to Christian “cultural infiltrations” since christianity is viewed as the “essence of Western culture”. Thus, media controls must be tightened.
    Beijing (AsiaNews) – Chinese President Hu Jintao has warned that "hostile" powers are seeking to "westernise" the country. Despite its status as an important world power, China “soft power” is weak, with Beijing incapable of influencing the world. For this reason, it must take “powerful measures” to stop Western cultural colonisation. Hu's remarks were published in the latest edition of Communist Party magazine Qiu Shi (Seeking the Truth).

    For some analysts, Hu’s words are throwback to old Maoist slogans. Others are saying that the struggle against “hostile” powers include Christianity and Catholicism. "Hostile international powers are strengthening their efforts to Westernise and divide us," Hu wrote in the article, also highlighted in Xinhua, noting that "ideological and cultural fields" are their main targets.

    "We must be aware of the seriousness and complexity of the struggles and take powerful measures to prevent and deal with them,” he explained, because "The overall strength of Chinese culture and its international influence is not commensurate with China's international status”. At the same time, China must undertake greater efforts to develop Chinese culture to meet the "growing spiritual and cultural demands of the people" in China.

    Sources told AsiaNews that the Qiu Shi article comes from a speech Hu delivered in October to the Central Committee of the Communist Party (see “Economy and Maoist slogans at the CP Central Committee,” in AsiaNews, 14 October 2011).

    According to them, the unpublished sections of the speech dealt with the fight against Christian “cultural infiltrations”. For China’s rulers, Christianity is seen as “the essence of Western culture”.

    It is no accident “that an attack by Zhu Weiqun, deputy chairman of the United Front, against Christianity and the Catholic Church was also published in Qiu Shi. Zhu attacked religious conversions by members of the Communist Party (see Bernardo Cervellera, “Get behind me Satan": No religion for the Chinese Communist Party members,” in AsiaNews, 20 December 2011), and has strong words against the Catholic Church and Christianity for present and past deeds.

    “Zhu interpreted Hu’s thoughts and made them public,” the sources told AsiaNews. “How could someone like Zhu, who is the vice chairman of the United Front, dare tell party members what to do?” they ask. “That is something only the party’s general secretary or his delegates can do.”

    As part of its “cultural war” to nationalise culture, the Communist Party wants to enforce tighter control on the Internet, blogs, newspapers and TV.
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    See also

    11/02/2016 19:48:00 CHINA
    Xi Jinping uses "traditional culture" to launch a new Cultural Revolution

    On the 50th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s disastrous ideological campaign, his successor accumulates power, builds a cult of personality that is unprecedented in modern times, and targets any "foreign influences" that might "destabilize" China. The brutal persecution of Christians is clear evidence of that. His underlings’ obsequiousness does not bode well for the future. A leading expert on China looks at the situation, courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.



    31/12/2007 CHINA
    Hu Jintao on religious freedom
    The politburo’s session on religions was barely reported. During the meeting the party’s general secretary spoke, praising the contribution of religions to a “harmonious society.” An expert on the Chinese Church looks at the development.

    26/03/2007 CHINA
    Communist Party “princelings” to be new leaders in Shanghai, Tianjin and Zhejiang
    China’s big cities get new party leaders. Choice falls on officials with years of loyal service, Hu loyalists and children of party elders. Before the year is out another 17 posts are to be filled.

    11/10/2006 CHINA
    Central Committee's plenum ends with 15 years worth of pledges
    In a sign that not all is well in the land and that corruption is rampant, the in camera meeting's final communiqué talks about the need for ethics. The next party congress is scheduled for late next year. Hu's political rival, Zeng Qinghong, is tasked to organise the event.

    19/02/2016 13:33:00 CHINA
    Chinese state media want more powers for President Xi to deal with serious situation

    The People's Daily published an opinion piece by a "Study Group" that calls for greater concentration of power in the paramount leader to avoid direct confrontation with US and economic stagnation.





    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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