The Communist Party has issued new policy directives to "strengthen and improve the Communist Party's leadership of artistic practices" - raising fears about restrictions on creativity and doubts about Beijing's effectiveness in getting across its ideological message to the public. Monday's move came a year after a landmark speech by President Xi Jinping in which he told authors, actors and artists, including Nobel laureate for literature Mo Yan, that their work should present socialist values and not carry the "stench of money". The new rules were issued days after the release of the full text of Xi's speech in which he urged them to create works that were both artistically outstanding and politically inspiring. During Mao Zedong's historic Yanan talks about literature and art in 1942, the leader said creative ambitions must first serve the people and the revolutionary cause; state media drew comparisons between the two speeches. Monday's rules, passed at a September Politburo meeting, were intended to implement Xi's demands, Xinhua reported. Beijing political commentator Zhang Lifan said the rules could compromise the quality of art. "Great art has always been from individual expression - not a centralised mindset," he said. The directives are seen as imitating Mao's approach to governing the nation's cultural industry, but Xi's approach seems based on what scholars call the "moral high ground" - in contrast with Mao's propaganda tactics, when the line between vulgar and refined wording seemed blurred, as Mao tried to pander to the mostly uneducated masses. "Dog droppings fertilise the field; man's droppings feed the dogs. Doctrines do neither. What good do they do?" Mao said during the Yanan period, historian Gao Hua documented, citing an official document. Party leaders with Soviet backgrounds were labelled doctrinists by Mao, as they received more systematic Marxist education. Such tactics helped the doctrinists to be sidelined by both the party and the public. The new directives said the arts sector should produce more works people liked, but not pander to the markets' low tastes. It said China's cultural industry was under threat from distorted artistic values and vulgar works. Such efforts go against the principals of communication Qiao Mu, a communication expert "Such efforts go against the principals of communication," said Qiao Mu, a communication expert at Beijing Foreign Studies University. "You can't decide what people like; both refined and vulgar works have markets." Unlike sexual and violent content, which were defined by law, the definition of vulgarity was very subjective, Qiao said. "The times are different. You can't close the door again once it's open … the government may spend lots of money on propaganda, but it can't cleanse what comes from the market."