Thursday, December 14, 2017: MERICS China Lounge with Ian Johnson
"Beyond the party line: ideas, values and faiths shaping today's China"
At the 19th Party Congress in October, Xi Jinping declared values and faith a cornerstone of his next five years in power. The party and state leader ordered CPC members and officials to return to an almost puritan faith in Marxism and Mao. In general society, the party has launched a campaign to raise moral standards and fight "erroneous" ideologies. According to Xi's guidelines, religion must be "Chinese in orientation," and guided by the party to adapt to socialist society. On the surface, CPC ideology seems to dominate public discourse. But behind the scenes, faith and religious traditions continue to thrive below the radar of official scrutiny, and debates in online chat groups display a wide range of opinions deviating from the official party line.
Is Xi's vision of all-encompassing party control over not only economy and politics but also culture, religion and morals still compatible with an increasingly diverse and financially independent society? What ideas, values and beliefs will shape China in the future?
Claudia Wessling, Head of Communications at MERICS, will discuss these and other questions with the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ian Johnson, a Beijing-based correspondent for The New York Times and author of "The Souls of China", a revelatory portrait of religion in China today that is soon to be published in German. Ian, who is also a MERICS Senior Policy Fellow, visited China for the first time in 1984, and has spent nearly twenty years there. His research focuses on civil society, religion, and China's search for new values.
Date: Thursday, December 14, 7.00 pm (admission from 6:30 pm)
Place: Mercator Institute for China Studies, Klosterstrasse 64, 10179 Berlin-Mitte, first floor, entrance in the second courtyard of the building with the inscription "Gebrüder Tietz"
The event will take place in German. Please register until December 4, 2017 via this link.