Ideological and Political Education in China

  • Jinghan Zeng
Part of the Critical Studies of the Asia-Pacific book series (CSAP)


This chapter studies political ideology in contemporary China. As established in the Introduction chapter, a core argument in this book is that ideology plays a crucial role in maintaining party cohesion and the popular legitimacy of the CCP. In China, the CCP has made great efforts in reinventing its ideological discourses. Ideological reform has been considered by Chinese intellectuals as a leading strategy for maintaining legitimacy, as Chapter 4 discussed. All top leaders attached great importance to ideological work. According to Mao Zedong, “[G]etting to grips with the leadership of thought control is the first priority in maintaining overall leadership” (Mao, 1991: 435). In the words of Deng Xiaoping, “[D]uring the last ten years, our biggest mistake was made in the field of education, primarily in ideological and political education — not just of students but of the people in general” (Deng, 1989). Jiang Zemin said that “the first thing for strengthening the party is to grasp ideological and political work, because solving ideological and political problems is the premise and foundation for other works” (Jiang, 2005). Hu Jintao argues that “ideology is an important front that we fiercely fight against hostile forces; if this front has some problems, it might lead to social turmoil and even the fall of our regime” (Literature, 2006: 318). Xi Jinping stresses that “ideological work is extremely important” (Ni, 2013). This chapter will examine the CCP’s various ideological discourses (both formal and informal ideologies), the mechanisms of ideological promotion, and their effectiveness.


Qing Dynasty Liberal Democracy Chinese Tradition Harmonious Society Scientific Outlook 
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Copyright information

© Jinghan Zeng 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinghan Zeng
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal HollowayUniversity of LondonUK

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