Peking boosts attack on Western ideas. Party reported set to expel intellectuals critical of system
The Chinese Communist Party has heightened its attack on Western political ideas and has called for the expulsion of those party members who criticize socialism and promote Western-style democracy. A press campaign in the leading party newspapers, which began in response to student demonstrations, has quickly broadened into a major propaganda effort to defend the Communist Party and the socialist system against the threat of ``bourgeois liberalism.''
Chinese sources say the party is also preparing to expel some leading intellectuals whose views contradict the four principles which Deng Xiaoping has said are prerequisites for China's modernization: Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tse-tung thought, the dictatorship of the people, socialism, and the leadership of the Communist Party.
In one especially harsh commentary last Friday, the party-controlled Guangming Daily criticized unnamed Communist Party members ``in positions of respect and influence'' who have failed to oppose ``bourgeois liberalism'' within the party.
Bourgeois liberalism refers to favoring Western-style democratic ideas and capitalism over socialism.
The commentary said that the recent student protests were an ``evil consequence'' of a widespread ``bourgeois liberalism'' within the party and of the weakness of party members in failing to support the four principles.
``A party member who refuses to maintain party leadership and the socialist road, but is instead keen to reject party leadership and go down the capitalist road - does such a party member have any semblance of being a party member?'' the newspaper said.
The first expulsion from the party may have been that of a prominent university official, Fang Lizhi, although so far there has been no official announcement.
[A former student of Mr. Fang's said the professor had been expelled from the party, and said Fang was now ``in Peking and under surveillance,'' Reuters reported yesterday.]
Fang has been vice-president of the University of Science and Technology in Hefei, Anhui Province, where the student protests began in early December.
He has been popular among students for his sympathy with their demands for more democratic rights in local elections in Hefei, which he said were in accordance with the Chinese Constitution, and for a reported discussion he held with Vice-Premier Wan Li.
According to a now famous wall poster at Peking University, Fang argued that democracy was not granted from above by the party, as Vice-Premier Wan reportedly said, but was earned through struggles by the people. Fang has said that the discussion was not as simplistic as the students' version of it.
Chinese sources say Mr. Deng was angered by Fang's permissive attitude toward the students and, according to a pro-Peking Hong Kong newspaper, the Wen Wei Po, has ordered his expulsion from the party along with several other intellectuals.
Fang came under attack yesterday in the Guangming Daily, though he was not mentioned by name, for advocating ``complete Westernization'' and rejecting socialism.
In an interview with the same newspaper in September, Fang, an astrophysicist, advocated greater academic freedom and the right of intellectuals to be active politically in society.
``Scientists must express their feelings about anything in society, especially if unreasonable, wrong, and evil things emerge,'' he told a Guangming Daily reporter.
``The emergence and development of new theories necessitate creating an atmosphere of democracy and freedom in the university.... In the university environment, there should be nothing that can only be upheld and allows no questioning of why it must be upheld,'' he said.
Chinese sources say other prominent intellectuals have also come under criticism, including investigative reporter Liu Binyan, Shanghai literary critic Wang Ruowang, and Yan Jiaqi, director of the Institute of Political Science at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
According to the Wen Wei Po, the Communist Party Central Committee is about to issue the first policy directive of 1987 which will announce a propaganda offensive for the year.
The object of the campaign will be to demonstrate the superiority of socialism and reverse the trend to bourgeois liberalism.
Circulars from the Central Committee set the party's major agenda items and this would be the first time in five years the party's No. 1 circular for the year has not dealt with agricultural reforms.