In an article published in The Guardian, Professor Carl Minzner explains the new “morality” guidelines released by the Chinese government for its citizens.
The “Outline for the Implementation of the Moral Construction of Citizens in the New Era” calls on Chinese citizens to be honest and polite, to be “civilised” when dining, travelling, or watching a sports competition, and “defend China’s honour” while abroad.
The guidelines, focusing heavily on promoting patriotism, also called for the formulation of “national etiquette” for things such as singing the national anthem, raising the national flag, or ceremonies for when one joins the ruling Chinese communist party (CCP).
Such etiquette should “enhance people’s attitude toward the party and country and organise a collective sense of identity and belonging”, according to the document, released by the party’s central committee and the state council. It also called for citizens to “carry forward the spirit of Lei Feng”, a former soldier who has been heavily used in party propaganda campaigns since the 1960s.
Carl Minzner, China scholar and professor of law at Fordham Law School in New York, said: “The general goal of these guidelines is to define ‘good’ behaviour, and that includes everything from the ethical lessons you might want your children to internalise, from reading Peppa Pig stories to more political concepts of civic virtue – such as how citizens should think of their relationship with respect to their leaders.”
Additional media coverage on this topic:
China’s New Moral Guide Elevates Xi Over Mao, Urges National Pride Over Foreign Influence (The Globe and Mail)