Beijing Students to Salute Communist Party Flag in the Mornings

March 1, 2011 Updated: March 1, 2011

Beijing municipal authorities require that elementary students salute the Communist Party’s flag during the monthly national flag-raising ceremony. The policy took effect on Feb. 21, with the spring semester’s start.

The Communist Party Beijing Youth League launched the campaign, awkwardly titled “Flying Communist Party and its affiliated youth organizations’ flags in the air,” to be carried on till this October.

According to the Beijing Times the campaign was meant to “strengthen recognition and love of the Communist Party organizations” among young children. The first Monday of each month would be a “Young Pioneers Day,” when all students are required to salute the party flags in a flag-raising ceremony.

The Public Interest Times reported on Feb. 21 that the Young Pioneer in Beijing will launch a “Young Pioneers yearning for the Party story-telling activities” to call for the young pioneers to recognize that “red scarf is one corner of the red flag” and that one must strive to become a “a good pupil of the Party.”

Wang Shaofeng, the Bejing Communist Party Youth League Secretary, speaking at the Capital Normal University’s Experimental School on Feb. 21, said that he hopes more Youth League and Young Pioneers members would take active action to follow the lead of the Party.

The move has been seen as an obvious measure to further indoctrinate the youth in pro-Communist Party sentiment.

China commentator and blogger Song Shinan said in a Twitter post: “Asking primary school students to salute to the Party’s flag is telling the students that the Party is the country and the country is the Party.” Song believes the policy won’t be effective and the authorities will eventually be laughed at over it.

Wu Fan, the editor of the China Issue magazine, said: “It shows that the Communist Party is very weak now. They are very scared of losing control. They want to use this policy to control students.”

“This won’t work. These children will grow up and learn from their life experiences, and their families. They will realize what the Party truly is and will give up the Party,” Wu said.

An Apple Daily report on Feb. 22 held that the policy is one among the many recent measures the Beijing authorities have taken to strengthen their control and consolidate their ruling position.

The series of measures cited in Apple Daily’s article include:

– On Feb. 20, Zhou Yongkang, the Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Political and Legal Committee, emphasized strengthening social management and consolidating the CCP’s ruling position at a meeting with provincial leaders.

– On Feb. 19, Hu Jintao, the CCP General Secretary, put forward eight measures to strengthen “social management” to deal with the challenge of increasing “social contradictions.”

– On Feb. 8, the CCP Central Military Commission amended its regulations to highlight that the People’s Liberation Army should absolutely obey the command of the Party.

– The end of January, China Central Television started broadcasting at prime time the TV program, “The five-star red flag fluttering in the wind,” which extols the CCP and its rule.

Read the original Chinese article