The indoctrination of young people has been a common denominator under communist regimes, and the Chinese case is no exception.

Last month, during his visit to an elementary school in the city of Chenzhou, Hunan Province, Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized the need to instill “the red gene” in young people and “pass down the revolutionary cause from generation to generation.”

Bitter Winter, a site specializing in religious freedom in China, collected a series of cases that show what “red” indoctrination of children is like under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), whose aim is to imbue communist ideology and loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), from kindergarten onward.

Holding high the flag … of communism

On Sept. 1, the students of an elementary school in Heilongjiang Province attended their first patriotic education class of the new school year. On the blackboard was a slogan that read, “Let’s hold high the flag of Young Pioneers, follow the Party, and prepare ourselves to fight for the Communist cause at all times.”

On the electronic screen next to the blackboard were several patriotic slogans, such as “Obey the Party’s commands, serve the people, be bold and ready to fight.”

But as if that were not enough, the authorities told parents that they had to make their children watch a television program co-produced by the Central Propaganda Department of the CCP, the Ministry of Education and Central Television of China, which exposed the “achievements” of the CCP in the fight against the CCP Virus pandemic.

Parents were instructed to take photographs showing their children watching the program and to write stories about what they had learned. 

Memorizing Communist Doctrines

Forcing young people to learn socialist dogma is commonplace in Chinese schools.

At the beginning of the new school year in a primary school in Yantai City, Shandong Province, first-year students were forced to memorize the 12 fundamental socialist values, that is the new interpretations of Chinese socialism promulgated at the 18th National Congress of the CCP in 2012.

Without the children even being able to understand what they were reading, let alone memorize it, the parents were forced to separate the sentences to help them memorize the dogma word for word and thus comply with what the school authorities had required of them.

The same thing happened with an elementary school in Jinan City, Shandong. Some parents said that their children were crying out of frustration.

“The state pays close attention to patriotic education, teaching children to love the country and the Party from a young age,” said a parent of a student in Jinan’s Huaiyin District.

Special courses for children

In the city of Heze in Shandong, there is a national education training center that organizes special courses, lasting from 2 to 40 days, for schoolchildren between the ages of 6 and 16 on “loving, respecting, and defending the country.” Some schools in the city have sent their students to attend classes.

“Cultivation of the red successor should start at a young age,” said a city government informant.

“It’s difficult to transform youngsters at 17 and 18. They all have their own thoughts then. Children are so naive, with no thoughts of their own; that is why they should be taught to love the Party and defend the country,” he said.