- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 2
Xi Jinping, the Chinese Vice-President, who is tipped to take over from President Hu Jintao later this year, has ordered universities to increase thought control over students.
His call for more ideological indoctrination comes amid a ratcheting up of propaganda ahead of next autumn's keynote Communist Party congress, which is likely to see Xi unveiled as China's next leader.
"University Communist Party organs must adopt firmer and stronger measures to maintain harmony and stability in universities," Xi said told Communist Party members at a meeting attended by the country's universities chiefs in Beijing reports the UK Telegraph.
"Daily management of the institutions should be stepped up to create a good atmosphere for the success of the Party's 18th congress," he added.
wants thought control.
The increasing number of riots, demonstrations and strikes sparked by official corruption, land seizures, widespread pollution and labor disputes over low pay has deeply unnerved the secretive government.
The increasing influence and popularity of internet social media sites – especially among young Chinese – is also causing great anxiety.
In response to the myriad of threats, the government has issued national orders for officials to get a grip on ideology and push "socialist core values".
Xi also told university chiefs to closely monitor lecturers, especially those starting their academic careers. "Young teachers have many interactions with students and cast significant [political and moral] influence on them," Xi said.
"They also play a very important role in the spread of ideas," he added.
A paramount task for universities is to "instruct" the thoughts of young lecturers and recruit more of them as party members, Xi said.
National newspapers were on Thursday also reporting instructions from senior leaders to intensify "propaganda work".