Program will complement China's ideological education: expert
Chinese officials will undergo traditional Chinese culture education since in September through textbooks to enhance their skills, the Chinese Academy of Governance said Monday.
Observers said that the textbooks will complement China's ideological education and will benefit the sweeping anti-graft campaign.
The textbooks, first of its kind and written by the academy and the China Sino Culture and Arts Center, will be distributed to local governance academies, where local officials receive training in different batches.
"The introduction of the textbooks is a response to the central government's efforts to promote traditional Chinese culture as China has been lacking in education in this field in the past years," Xu Hongwu, chief editor of the textbooks, told the Global Times Monday.
Xu said that the textbooks include classic quotations, interpretation and questions for discussion. "How to effectively impart the knowledge and encourage officials to apply theories will be the next challenge."
Xu added that the textbooks, including instructions on human resources, military strategies, law enforcement and anti-corruption, will boost officials' knowledge of traditional culture and enhance their governance capabilities and decision-making.
The move came after President Xi Jinping's speech at an international seminar in September 2014 to mark the 2,565th anniversary of the birth of Confucius, in which he said that culture is the soul of a nation and called for mutual understanding between civilizations.
Xi also spoke at Beijing Normal University on September 9, when he expressed his concerns about a decision to remove classic Chinese poems and essays from textbooks.
"Some essential ideas in traditional Chinese culture are consistent with the current anti-graft campaign, which will provide useful insights," Qi Xingfa, an associate professor at the Department of Political Science of East China Normal University, told the Global Times Monday, adding that some other theories will help officials better perform their work and reduce conflicts with others.
However, Qi said that such education on anti-graft may only have a limited effect as the campaign depends more on restrictions to officials' authority than nurturing morals.
"Influenced by Confucius' philosophy on finance, I have focused on reforming the use of government vehicles since becoming an official. I believe that studying Chinese culture will greatly help officials deal with the public and other officials," said Ye Qing, deputy director of the Statistics Bureau of Hubei Province.
"Traditional Chinese culture education will supplement ideological education as some classical creeds could help officials better understand politics such as the rise and fall of power and strengthen their self-discipline," said Wang Zhanyang, a professor at the Central Institute of Socialism.
However, some theories are vague and general, which cannot be applied to the workplace. "We should still insist on Marxism, democracy and the rule of law," stressed Wang.