Central Committee convenes in Beijing not to discuss politics or the economy, but ‘socialist culture’

Special to WorldTribune.com

A paramilitary policeman stands guard near a Chinese national flag on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Reuters/Petar Kujundzic

Nobody takes culture so seriously as the Communists, especially the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Chairman Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in 1966 to 1976 — in which millions of Chinese perished — was waged in the name of “purifying and improving” Chinese civilization.

Beginning on Saturday, Oct. 15, the CCP’s ruling Central Committee — the 220 most powerful men and women in the country — gathered for four days to discuss how to “deepen the reform of the cultural structure and to push forward the great development and prosperity of socialist culture.”

The CCP Central Committee meets only once or twice a year usually to discuss pressing political and economic issues. Culture has not been featured in any Central Committee plenary meeting in recent memory. However, it is well-known that the Politburo under General Secretary and President Hu Jintao is very worried about diversification and pluralization of society and culture, especially as manifested on the Internet and microblogs.