Three prestigious mainland universities have vowed to strengthen ideological control over students and teachers, according to statements in the latest issue of Qiushi, the Communist Party journal.
The statements, by Communist Party committees of Peking University, Shanghai’s Fudan University and Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, appeared in the article "How to carry out ideological work at universities under new historical conditions".
Peking University said it would tighten control of the “internet battlefield” and build a sound monitoring and management system for online public opinion. The school has set up a task force to monitor online opinion on a 24-hour basis.
"In recent years, some people with ulterior motives have added fuel to the flames on the Internet ... ultimately targeting the Chinese Communist Party and the socialist system," the Qiushi article read.
Those actions "created a very large negative impact on public opinion on the Internet and social consensus," the piece, written by the university’s party committee, went on.
The committee called on teachers and students to "take a firm stand and be unequivocal, and fight against speech and actions that touch upon the party’s and country’s principles and bottom lines in a timely, efficient and resolute manner".
Peking University also vowed to fight any comments that sabotage the Communist Party and socialism.
Fudan University, meanwhile, put its focus on teaching staff under 45 years of age, saying that some of them do not have “correct understandings” of the problems China is facing in its transitional stage.
The Shanghai-based university said it would strengthen training for the teachers and that the evaluation system for them would be reformed.
The statements come at a time when President Xi Jinping is tightening his grip on the media and intensifying a crackdown on liberal intellectuals.
In June, a senior party discipline inspector criticised the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, one of the country’s most influential think tank, for being “infiltrated by foreign forces”.
People’s Daily, the party mouthpiece, said the following month that the academy would be built into a stronghold of orthodox Marxism, and scholars at the think tank should be assessed by its loyalty to the ideology.
China on Saturday ordered journalists of both traditional and online media to learn "Marxist news values" and uphold the principles of news as prescribed by the party.