China classrooms must "keep out" Western values

SHANGHAI - China must keep educational materials that promote "Western values" out of its classrooms, the state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Minister of Education Yuan Guiren as saying. "(We must) strengthen effective management of Western original classroom materials and we must not allow materials into our classrooms that spread Western values," Yuan was quoted as saying in a report late on Thursday.

China's ruling Communist Party has long railed against Western values, including concepts like multi-party democracy and universal human rights.

The tenor has become more shrill under President Xi Jinping who has tightened control over the media, political dissidents and the Internet and has urged more "ideological guidance" at universities. "Never allow attacks upon or defamation of Party leaders, or remarks that discredit socialism in university classrooms," Yuan said at a meeting attended by officials from some of China's top universities.

In late December, Xi called for greater"ideological guidance" in universities and urged the study of Marxism.

In the latest screed reflecting government views, the influential Party journal Qiushi accused prominent academics of discrediting the country by spreading Western values.