Thursday, June 22, 2017
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (“CCDI”) of the People’s Republic of China is the highest internal-control institution of the Communist Party of China (CPC). It enforces internal rules and regulations and combats corruption in the Communist Party. Because most Chinese government officials are also Communist Party members, the CCDI is effectively the top anti-corruption body in China. The CCDI was established in 1978.
Although it usually focuses on anti-corruption, the CCDI has recently accused 14 of China’s top-ranked universities of having weak ideological and political commitments, according to a report in the Financial Times. The universities were instructed to “take responsibility” for their ideological and political shortcomings. See Emily Feng, Political Control: Beijing Probes Universities that Fail to Toe Communist Line, Financial Times, June 20, 2017, at 2.
The 14 Chinese universities targeted include ones that have academic programs and research partnerships with prominent educational institutions in the West. Id. The Chinese universities include Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Wuhan University (which has a joint venture agreement with Duke University).
The Financial Times notes that the CCDI’s ideological report continues a trend that started in 2012, to tighten political control over all aspects of civil society including education. Emily Feng, Political Control: Beijing Probes Universities that Fail to Toe Communist Line, Financial Times, June 20, 2017, at 2. The report now comes in advance of the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress scheduled for this Fall. Id. The CCDI had sent its inspectors to 29 universities in China earlier this year to find “political bias” and to uphold the Communist Party’s leadership. Id.