Britain’s Guardian Newspaper reports today that Chinese publishers have reportedly received orders from the Chinese government that the number of foreign titles being printed must be cut to prevent an ‘ideology inflow’.
According the to The Guardian ‘Winnie-the-Pooh, Peppa Pig, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and even James and his Giant Peach are feeling the heat in China amid reports of a Communist party crackdown on children’s literature.’
China’s sensitivity to foreign cultural influences have complex causes and can be manifested in many different ways.
The Chinese government’s drive before the Beijing Olympics to make China more international spurred an enthusiasm for learning English across many levels of Chinese society. As a result official government statistics suggest that there are now as many as 300,000,000 people in China with some level of competence in English. There is a better level of competence in English among the university-educated younger generation, however even in some good-quality universities English classes are often poor, the teachers themselves are not fluent in English, and rote memorisation remains a main method of instruction. For obvious reasons those Chinese who have lived and worked abroad tend to have the best competence in English.
This does not necessarily mean that the Chinese government is necessarily comfortable with foreign cultural influences on the nation’s youth, as today’s report suggests.
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