The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) announced, on June 5, a new research initiative, as part of its ongoing Chinese Media Studies (CMSP) project. The Chinese Schoolbook Initiative analyzes and translates Chinese government textbooks used in compulsory education in the K-12 educational system of the Peoples' Republic of China.
The Schoolbook Initiative is a natural follow-up to MEMRI's work in Chinese, which began two years ago. MEMRI, which is well known for its analysis and translations from open-source content in languages of the Middle East and the Arab world, including Arabic, Farsi, Turkish and Urdu, expanded in 2017 to include coverage of Russian media and in 2020 to include Chinese media. As with the Middle East languages, translations and analysis are done by native speakers, linguists, and experts with years of experience in the field.
Underscoring the importance of the Schoolbook Initiative, MEMRI President Yigal Carmon stressed that "not only are alternative textbooks not allowed in Chinese schools – any interpretation that does not fully obey the official line of the Chinese Communist Party is strictly prohibited."
The first products of the new initiative will be a two-part analysis of how Chinese history, both ancient and modern, is taught in official government textbooks. The series, called "A Packaged Past: China's History Schoolbooks," will be released online and in hard copy on June 6 and 7, to be followed by a report comprising translated excerpts from the books themselves along with historical context for the books' assertions. Further analyses, translations, and occasional papers dealing with other aspects of the Chinese educational system and with the process of indoctrinating young minds will be produced throughout 2022 and 2023, providing a rich resource of primary material and analysis of interest to Western policymakers.
SUPPORT OUR WORK
This initiative's research will enrich the public debate on China, and will extend the parameters of understanding the challenges facing the West vis-à-vis the Communist leadership of China, and will provide factual, primary content demonstrating the scope of ideological indoctrination occurring behind the scenes in classrooms across China's vast hinterland. This is what the CCP is telling its own youth, in addition what is being told to the outside world.
Covers Of Chinese Government Schoolbooks Examined In The Study
Chinese History, 7th Grade, 1st Volume; (Approved by the Ministry of Education in 2016; A Textbook for Compulsory Education; People's Education Press)
Chinese History, 7th Grade, 2nd Volume; (Approved by the Ministry of Education in 2016; A Textbook for Compulsory Education; People's Education Press)
Chinese History, 8th Grade, 1st Volume; (Approved by the Ministry of Education in 2017; A Textbook for Compulsory Education; People's Education Press)
Chinese History, 8th Grade, 2nd Volume; (Approved by the Ministry of Education in 2017; A Textbook for Compulsory Education; People's Education Press)