Add Santa Claus to the list of things the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) doesn’t like.
With Christmas around the corner, the Party is wary of Western influence that it believes could corrupt the minds of young Chinese.
At Shenyang Pharmaceutical University in northeastern China’s Liaoning Province, the school’s Communist Youth League, a Party organization for young people aged 14 to 28 to learn about Party ideology, issued an online statement, forbidding student unions, clubs, and youth league branches from organizing any activities based on Western religious holidays, such as Christmas, according to a Dec. 14 report by China’s nationalistic, state-run newspaper Global Times.
The ban would help the younger generation “build cultural confidence,” since recently, some have been “blindly excited about Western holidays,” the notice read. The Youth League’s move would help young people “resist corrosion from Western religious culture.”
Some netizens on Weibo, China’s popular microblogging website similar to Twitter, have expressed displeasure with the ban.
One netizen from Chaoyang District in Beijing wrote, “Many foreigners around the world have participated in activities to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year. And we report on these activities in a positive angle. If foreign governments forbid their citizens from celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year, we would not be happy…different holidays in different countries are for people to build up friendship and understanding with each other. Why is there the need to be against [Christmas]?”
Another citizen from China’s coastal Jiangsu Province noted sarcastically, “Marxism and the Communist Party have all been passed on to us from the West.”
The ban at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University is not an isolated incident. In December 2014, the Modern College of Northwest University in central China’s Xi’an City called Christmas “kitschy,” and banned students from celebrating the holiday. Students were forced to watch a three-hour screening of propaganda films instead, according to MailOnline.
Also in 2014, the education bureau in Wenzhou City in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang, issued a directive ordering all schools and kindergartens in the region not to hold Christmas events, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).
The Chinese regime does more than banning Christmas to prevent its students from coming under Western influence. In July 2016, millions of Chinese- language textbooks by Wen Lisan, a former editor at a prominent publishing house, were recalled and his name deleted. His fall from favor was the result of his critical remarks against the CCP, and he has since been labeled as a “radical Westernized element.”