Xi Jinping Boosts Traditional Chinese Content in Schools

Starting September 2017, China’s middle and elementary schools will follow a new curriculum containing substantially more classical Chinese language and literary material than the previous curriculum.

Approximately 40 percent of new textbooks and teaching materials will focus on classical Chinese content, as compared to roughly 10 percent in the previous curriculum.

Context: In contrast to previous Communist Party leaders, Xi Jinping has consistently promoted traditional Chinese culture and history during his term. Notably in 2013, he visited the Confucius Temple, and at the
end of 2015, he invited Confucian scholars to lecture in Beijing in front of the elite Politburo.

Why it matters: Xi’s update to the school curriculum and effort to revive traditional thought is a clear departure from his predecessors. Historically, the Party was against Confucian and classical reading material as they were considered to be a rival ideology.