Updated: 07/21/2014 15:28 | By Agence France-Presse

Chinese Communist Party in ideology crackdown: paper

China's ruling Communist Party has demanded that government officials be prevented from "being disoriented and losing themselves" to the influence of Western ideals, a newspaper with close ties to the party reported Monday.

Chinese Communist Party in ideology crackdown: paper

File photo of the People's Republic of China flag - by Ed Jones

A recent circular from the party's powerful Organisation Department insists that the officials reconfirm their faith in "socialism with Chinese" characteristics through an emphasis on "deepened education" in Marxist principles, the Global Times tabloid said.

Western ideals included constitutional democracy, universal values and civil society, the report said, though it added that other influences such as superstition and religion should also be guarded against.

According to the report, the circular also requires Communist Party schools and institutes to emphasise traditional Chinese culture in their teaching, stressing that officials must protect China's spiritual independence and shun becoming a "yes-man for Western moral values".

The Global Times also said that a long-term mechanism for education should be set up to deal with the problem.

The report also noted that officials at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the top state-run think tank, said earlier in July that its main standards for evaluating officials and researchers are ideology and political discipline.

That came after they received a warning from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party enforcement organ. 

The huge party, which was founded 93 years ago and has ruled China since 1949, periodically undergoes ideological spasms, often when it is in the midst of intense internal political disputes or when leaders feel China is under threat.

President Xi Jinping, party general secretary since November 2012, has vowed to restore China to greatness, and is simultaneously pushing a much-publicised campaign to cleanse the party of corruption. 

The Global Times quoted an unidentified Beijing-based professor of political science as saying that China should set up its own system of core values to resist Western values.

The party, the largest in the world, gained 1.56 million members last year, it announced last month, though growth in membership slowed from 2012.

The party had 86.7 million members at the end of 2013, the Organisation Department said -- more than the entire population of Germany.

The 1.8 percent year-on-year increase was slower than the 3.1 percent gain in 2012, with the party attributing the decrease to new controls implemented to "develop the quality of party members"

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