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When it comes to making history, Beijing’s universities have played an outsized role: they were the source of the demonstrations which kicked off the May Fourth Movement, to which the Chinese Communist Party traces its roots, and the Tiananmen Square protests, perhaps the biggest challenge to the CCP since it took power.
So it makes sense then that President Xi Jinping, as he looks to further consolidate his rule ahead of the Party’s centennial later this year, would pay special attention to the country’s top schools.
In a visit to Tsinghua University this week, Xi praised the Beijing institution for cultivating a “glorious tradition of patriotism” and encouraged students to be “both red and professional,” a phrase which dates to the Mao Zedong era.”
Be firm in your beliefs, always stand with the Party and the people, and be a firm believer and faithful practitioner of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” said Xi, adding that “a splendid flower blooms in the unremitting struggle.”