Media acts against neglect of ideology
JOSEPHINE MA in Beijing
State media have started a new wave of propaganda to reinforce political ideological education among cadres.
State television last night said it would begin a series of prime-time special reports to remind cadres not to neglect ideology because of economic reforms.
'By reinforcing the political ideological work, we can ensure the masses will understand the Communist Party's direction and carry out its policies so that the well-being of the state and the masses can be guaranteed in the course of economic reform,' the television said in a brief commentary.
Last night's programme coincided with an article published in the latest issue of Outlook Magazine - a a Xinhua publication - which called on cadres not to confuse 'political ideology' with 'policy concepts'.
It said policies to allow a more diverse society did not mean cadres should neglect communist ideology.
Non-party social organisations could threaten the party's leadership if left uncontrolled, the magazine said.
'There are more than 200,000 social organisations of various types in China,' it said. 'On the one hand, their emergence reflects the fact the mechanisms to control people, ideas, religions and their attitude towards life are very diversified now.
'But they also can have an adverse effect . . . if we let them grow without control.' The rise of religious groups was particularly dangerous as they might take advantage of people to pursue their own political agendas, the article said.
It warned cadres to master the Internet so they could counter 'undesirable Western influence' in cyberspace.
'Although in theory we can install a firewall or filters on the Internet, this is difficult to implement,' it admitted. 'Therefore we need to come up with ways to counter the bad influence . . . and step up our publicity work on the Internet . . . so that the Internet becomes a powerful tool of political and ideological work for us.'