New Tang Dynasty TV reported that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) Central Civilization Committee (中央精神文明建设指导委员会), established in April 1997, has quietly disappeared. This organization was founded during the era of former CCP head Jiang Zemin. On paper, it served as a policy-making body to oversee the nation’s “spiritual and ideological development.” Its actual role was to direct ideological messaging and propaganda within the country. One of its major functions was to suppress Falun Gong, a practice of mind-and-body Buddhist-based exercises.
The committee’s member organizations included several key bodies such as the CCP Central Discipline Inspection Commission, the Central Propaganda Department, the Central Organization Department, the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, and the State Council General Office. The first Director of this committee was Ding Guangen, a member of the CCP’s Politburo and head of the CCP Central Propaganda Department. Subsequent directors were all members of the Politburo, including prominent figures from the Jiang Zemin era such as Li Changchun, Liu Yunshan, and Wang Huning. Following the 20th National Congress, Xi Jinping’s confidant, Cai Qi, assumed the position of director.
On October 11 the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao reported changes to the official website of the Central Civilization Committee. The organization listed as owning the website changed from the Central Civilization Committee to the Central Propaganda Department and the Central Civilization Office. Additionally, the full name of the Central Civilization Office was changed from “Central Spiritual Civilization Development Steering Committee Office” to “Central Spiritual Civilization Development Office,” with the “Committee” part omitted. The article noted that Cai Qi has never publicly used the title of director of the Central Civilization Committee even though he was in charge of it.
The disappearance of this committee shows how Xi Jinping is moving away from Jiang Zemin’s legacy. The CCP’s National Propaganda and Cultural Work Conference, held in Beijing on October 7 and 8 introduced the concept of “Xi Jinping’s Cultural Ideology” for the first time. This marks a new approach in the CCP’s methodology for exercising influence over culture and ideology to control the minds of the Chinese people.
Source: NTDTV, October 11, 2023