The Chinese Ministry of Education and communist regime-run CCTV have jointly produced a TV program aimed at promoting patriotism. It will be aired to elementary school and junior high students at the beginning of the fall semester.
Some scholars believe that this is just another means to advance communist propaganda. Patriotism has already been appropriated by an educational system that serves those in power.
The Ministry of Education said that 220 million students will watch the program at the same time via cable TV. The topic of discussion is “How should we love our country?” The program, entitled “First Lesson of the School Year,” is scheduled to be aired just before the 60th anniversary of the communist takeover of China on Oct. 1, 2009.
Professor Hu Xingdou of the Beijing Institute of Technology told Radio Free Asia that the Chinese communist regime has a unique use of the word patriotism: “In China, it is as though whoever can take advantage of the banner of patriotism becomes the victor. On the one hand, patriotism is important. On the other hand, rather than paying lip service, it would be much better to practice patriotism by improving economic development or facilitating political reform.”
The Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece, Xinhua News Agency, reported that Ministry of Education official Yu Changxue said he hopes students will turn their patriotic sentiments into action after watching the show.
Wang Juntao, a Chinese political scholar living in the United States, said: “The communist regime has usurped the concept of patriotism. In China, patriotism does not mean loving the country. Instead, it means loving a political group with special interests. It means serving these political interests.
“The communist regime pretends that its interests are also the interests of the country. If you don’t serve its interests, then you are unpatriotic and disloyal. Patriotism has become a tool in political persecution and thought control.”
Reportedly, celebrities and athletes will host the program. On the evening of Sept. 1, CCTV will also air a variety show with the same patriotic theme.