In January, Radio Free Asia reported that the Chinese Communist Party is “taking a direct role in the running of universities across the country” by merging the presidents’ offices with their Party committees. Ideological controls on universities have been tightening for more than a decade. But this latest move may be even more dramatic: Although all universities have Party branches and committees, the Party has never directly controlled administrative offices. How are China’s universities going to change under the new system? Why is the Party doing this now?


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