Beijing: Chinese President Hu Jintao has told
Communist Party members that hostile forces abroad are trying
to westernize and divide the country with their cultural
influence and that officials must remain vigilant against such
The party magazine Seeking Truth this week published an
excerpt of a speech by Hu to party leaders in October in which
he said China is facing a difficult ideological struggle.
"We must clearly see that international hostile forces
are intensifying the strategic plot of westernizing and
dividing China, and ideological and cultural fields are the
focal areas of their long-term infiltration," Hu said.
Hu did not specify who the hostile forces are, but
Chinese leaders have tried to bolster their legitimacy with a
more demanding public by depicting China as being engaged in
an ideological and cultural war with the West.
Hu`s remarks are part of the Communist Party`s broader
push to reinforce socialist principles in an attempt to
counter calls by liberal Chinese for "universal values" such
as freedom of expression, which state media often portray as
Western concepts unsuited to China`s unique circumstances.
Chinese leaders are under pressure from a public that is
upset over income inequality, corruption and other ills of
rapid growth and that feels empowered by rising prosperity and
social media to criticize the government.
To compete for ideological influence, party leaders have
said China must create more cultural products like books,
films and art to attract Chinese and foreign audiences.
As part of efforts to wrest back Communist Party control
over cultural industries, China also recently said it would
limit reality TV shows and other light fare shown on satellite
"We should deeply understand the seriousness and
complexity of the ideological struggle, always sound the
alarms and remain vigilant, and take forceful measures to be
on guard and respond," Hu said in the speech, made at an
annual policy meeting of the party`s Central Committee -- 365
members of the power elite.
China has stepped up a campaign to boost its influence by
making movies that promote Chinese culture or the Communist
These include "Beginning of the Great Revival," a film to
celebrate the Communist Party`s 90th anniversary, and the 2009
blockbuster "The Founding of a Republic" marking 60 years of