The Common Program of the People's Republic of China 1949-1954


In 1949, there were 221 universities and colleges, mostly based on Western (US and European) examples and mainly located in the Eastern Area, of which 37 in Shanghai, 36 in Sichuan, Beijing 15, and in Jiangsu 15. These institutes had a total enrollment of around 117,000 students, approximately .002% of the population. The new government starts restructuring university education. The control over the universities is in the beginning the task of the Military Regulation Commission, they take possession of the buildings and take charge of the administration. The cost of maintenance and other expenses are taken care of. In 1953, only 182 of the 221 universities continued to exist and 14 of the 49 comprehensive universities remain. All private and missionary universities are reorganized or taken over.
This reorganisation involves the transformation of old universities and colleges; the establishment of new special colleges; the concentration of personnel, facilities, and funds to form new colleges and departments. The idea behind this reorganization is specialization. Single-field engineering colleges prepared the stu-dents for more specialized disciplines than multi-field polytechnical universities.
Wang (2015) gives an example ".., in 1954 the major of railway engineering had four sub-majors, namely, railway construction, railway lines and business, railway houses, and water supply and drainage of railways. Some people even proposed setting two sub-majors under railway construction -railway location design and building. Specialization was highly valued, for example, in 1954 when examining the teaching plan of the majors of railway engineering and the majors of railway, bridge and tunnel design, the reform decided to cancel unnecessary courses which had little relation to the cultivating objects and courses which was not needed immediately for the current technology, such as thermal and electrical operation and automatic control in power engineering. On the contrary, professional courses should increase their study hours. For example, to strengthen the two specialized courses, water supply and drainage in railway engineering, the courses “railway location design” and “railway construction” should be combined into “railway location design and construction”, and “bridge and tunnel design” should put into “introduction to bridge and tunnel”. In this way, professional courses were greatly reinforced to cultivate engineers with more specialized engineering knowledge and skills for certain job positions.156"

Fig. 43.1 Regional distribution universities 1949-1954
Source: Gao (2018). Page 127
North China and Northwest China have an upward trend, East and Southwest a downward trend, and Central and Northeast a more or less stable. "As a result, a large number of single-discipline based colleges were established, of which colleges of engineering and normal colleges occupied the majority. To be specific, there were 38 Natural Sciences and Technology, 33 Teacher Training Institutions, 29 colleges of Agriculture and Forestry Institutions, 6 Finance and Economics Institutions, 4 Political Science and Law Institutions, 8 Language and Literature Institutions, 15 Art Institutions, 4 Physical Culture Institutions, 3 Ethnic Nationality Institutions and 1 other institution"
Two reasons can be mentioned for this change. The limitation of Western (capitalist and imperialist) influence on education. October 1, 1951, the GAC expressed it as follows: "A school system is the reflection of the development of production and science in a given society. . . . The school system of capitalist states is a reflection of capitalist production and serves the purpose of the monopolistic economy of the capitalist class. The school system of the socialist states is, on the other hand, a reflection of the ever-expanding socialist and Communist reconstruction. The school system of old China was an imitation of the system of capitalist states and reflected the reactionary ideology of landlords, bureaucrats, and the compradore class of semi-colonial semi-feudal society. It is opposed to the actual needs of the Chinese people. The laboring people had no privileges and no position in the culture and education of old China."
The other reason is more pragmatic, the need for specialists to build the country. These needs are concentrated on clothing, foods, housing, and transportation. The emphasis is on self-reliance. In 1939 Mao Zedong stated "The [Chinese Communist] revolution will not triumph without revolutionary intellectuals...Our army must take in large numbers of such intellectuals. We must convince worker-peasant cadres to accept and not be intimidated by them. Without the help of revolutionary intellectuals, peasants and workers will not improve their skills or knowledge. And we will not be able to rule the nation, the party, or the military. Our government and party offices as well as mass movements must also be set up to attract revolutionary intellectuals."

Chinese National Science Popularization Association scientific and research work of new china


An instrument to reach this goal of building a socialist economy is the on November 1, 1949, founded Chinese Academy of Sciences. (CAS as in real institute is founded in 1955). This is the result of the investigation
Chen Boda
Chen Boda (1904-1989) deputy chief of the Communist Party Propaganda Department and vice-president of the Marx-Lenin Institute
made in October 1949 in the SU, where he explored the Soviet Academy of Sciences, the Russian system for planning scientific research, and the connection between science and technology. The Chinese Academy of Sciences incorporated the Academia Sinica (1928), consisting mainly of scientists who had studied in the United States, and the Beijing Academy (1929), consisting mainly of European-trained scientists. June 20-26 of 1950, the first Administrative Affairs Meeting of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was held in Beijing, it decided to focus on long-term based research plans.
Academia Sinica 1928

Besides the CAS, following the Soviet model, research academies in various ministries have been set up. "For example, the Ministry of Health founded the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in 1950 and the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1955. Each of the industrial ministries set up its own specialized research institutes and laboratories in many of the major industrial enterprises as well. The Ministry of Agriculture established the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and research institutes for agricultural sciences in provinces. "
March 8, 1954, The CCP stated explicitly that "the State Planning Commission takes the responsibility to review the plans for the Academy of Sciences, the production department and the institutions of higher education in terms of their scientific research for the purpose to solve the problems arising from the combination of scientific research and the production practices and the issues in all aspects regarding the assignment and cooperation during the scientific research."46

Fig. 43.2 Chinese students in the US 1900-1954
Source: Cao (2004). and Cheng (1965).

About 60% of the associates of the CAS are former members of the Academia Sinica and Beijing Academy. Many intellectuals, scientists, and technologists had left the mainland during the turbulent period of 1933-1949. The CAS reckons the repatriation of these persons as one of their main tasks. This attempt results in the return of 2000 US trained scientists and engineers. For example,
Ye Xipei
Ye Xipei (1902-1971) metallurgist.
"At the beginning of 1950, he escaped the USA secret police notice and the Hong Kong Kuomintang’s kidnap, ignored the superior’s persuading to stay, resigned firmly from the occupation of the United Nations, and took flight to Hong Kong straightly. With the concern of Premier Zhou Enlai, his family finally went back to Guangzhou"
In 1955 of the 172 elected members of the CAS, 84 had a US academic background. Only 17 are CCP members. (19 CAS members had been chosen in the CPPCC National Committee of 1949 and 3 in the standing committee of the 1949 CPPCC) The selection for membership of the CAS is founded on three criteria: academic achievement, promotion of discipline, and loyalty to the people’s cause, with the first being the most important. Cao (2004) remarks "Candidates for social science membership were examined politically to see whether they supported socialism and the CCP and whether they applied Marxism to their research, criteria more stringent than loyalty to the people’s cause " Ultimately the CCP approves the candidates.
Fig. 43.3 CAS members with US background in 1955
Source: List of members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Wikipedia
"Due to needs of self-development and national construction, in view of experiences of Soviet Academy of Sciences, the Party Leadership Group of CAS decided to take the cultivation of scientific cadres as one of the central tasks and the cultivation of postgraduates as one of the focal points in 1953."


The united front policy of the CCP during the civil war had ensured that many intellectuals had anti-GMD feelings (see also Part 3 ) and had a positive idea about the CCP, but they kept a wait-and-see attitude. Many students had chosen for an active pro-CCP choice and many of them were active in secret underground actions. "Although Chinese universities during the civil war period were nominally connected to the established Nationalist government, the Communist party developed strong support among university students. In fact, anti-American (and by extension, anti-GMD) protests on university campuses during 1946-47 were a significant factor in the erosion of public support for the Nationalists" The students persuaded professors not to follow the GMD regime in their withdrawal. Sometimes incentives like ration cards had been given to the professors. The CCP had carefully prepared the takeover of the universities. "…, da sie wusste, dass die Haltung der Intellektuellen, und besonders der Studenten, nach der Einnahme der Städte für den Erfolg des Regimes entscheidend sein würde. Mao selber hatte angeordnet, die Universitäten von Yenching und Tsinghua während der Kampfe zu schonen. Deshalb setzte die Armee in der unmittelbaren Nähe dieser Hochschulen während der Gefechte keine schweren Waffen ein.19 Die Partei richtete militärische Kontrollkomitees ein, um die Übernahme der Zivilverwaltung in den Städten vorzubereiten. In Beiping gründete das militärische Kontrollkomitees am 21. Dezember 1948 ein Unterkomitee für Kultur. Unter der Führung von
Qian Junrui
Qian Junrui (1908-1985) Economist
, einem Fachmann der Partei für Bildungsfragen, der bald stellvertretender Erziehungsminister und Leiter des Parteikomitees im Ministerium werden sollte, wurde dieses Unterkomitee für Kultur in verschiedene Sektionen für Bildung, Literatur und Künste, Museen und Presse aufgeteilt. Qian selber übernahm auch die Sektion für Bildung."
Yao (1989) states "Scientists were fairly well respected in the first years of the People’s Republic. And after the experience of a long period of social upheaval they, in turn, appreciated the stable research environment. In that period, before the emergence of other scientific research venues and formats, the CAS scientists were the “seed” and “locomotive" of scientific activity throughout the country." The role of the intellectuals changes from an active force in the political arena to a passive group to be acted on.
Huang (1991) notices a decline in the number of professors in absolute numbers and percentages (1952: 30%, in 1953: 23%, and in 1954: 20%).
Fig. 43.4 Staff at univeristies 1952-1954
Source: Huang (1991). Page 105
In 1949, there are 2 generations of engineers. The first generation of Chinese engineers were born during the late Qing Dynasty, and studied abroad. This generation of engineers mainly graduated in metallurgy, geology, railway and civil engineering. "After 1949, some (of these) engineers in the mainland became the dominant force of socialist China, and they played a significant role in the 1950s when the country carried out construction in full swing. However, they were in a contradictory relationship with the CCP, and they were not fully relied upon by the CCP after the country’s ideological transition. As such, they became a major object of suppression in political movements… The second group were born after the 1920’s and graduated before 1949, unlike the first generation they lacked the experience to work on big projects due to the civil war and Sino-Japanese war.
The recruitment of new engineers followed 3 paths, first to persuade GMD scientific and technological employees to stay. Mao Zedong states: "Please be well aware that besides the manager and workers’ representative, the management committee must include technicians, engineers, and other employees. Such a committee must be a management committee under the system of overall responsibility by factory manager. Under any circumstances, besides the company director or manager who must be attached with great importance, the technicians, engineers and employees with sufficient knowledge and experiences must receive significant attention as well. If necessary, no matter how high the salary might be, they must be employed as well when it becomes possible, even if they are the members of the KMT." 52 Second, to persuade overseas students to return to the PCR, in 1950 there are about 5500 students studying abroad, 3500 studying in the US, 1200 in Japan, and more than 400 in UK. (In terms of majors, those that specialized in science, engineering, agriculture and medicine accounted for 70%) Third, to engage enrolled students who are about to graduate. In 1947, there are about 155000 enrolled students. (Engineering students were around 17% of the total). The number of engineers and technicians was far too low to realize the industralization plans of the new regime. To solve the shortage problem regular training programs are introduced. Starting in 1951 learning from the SU became the leading guideline. Sending students to foreign countries was a feasible method. No longer are the US, Japan, and UK chosen but SU and the socialist countries in Europe.
In October 1951, there are 609 students studying in the Soviet Union. These include the following: 1. There are 375 new students. They are studying in 6 cities including Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Kazan, Saratov, Novocherkask; 2. Military students: 53 navy students in Leningrad; 30 Air Force students in Moscow. 3. There are 22 students from the Youth League, in Moscow. 4. The Northeast Industrial Internship Group has 88 students, scattered in Kuznetsk, Donbass and other factories. In 1954 there are 1375 Chinese students studying in the SU. "In 1953, the Chinese government set up rules and regulations for selecting students and their Russian language training. Anyhow, political check was still the most significant criterion to ensure the students’ strong belief in communism. The availability of technical and professional training was the most precious to the new China, which lay the foundation for its potential development and growth in the decades later."


Directly after the take over the CCP only changed the GMD ideology into communist thought at the universities. However already in 1950 the period of laissez-faire was over. The western inspiration has to disappear and the SU is considered a new role model. Li (2012) cites "The socialist Soviet Union has gained success with the most advanced theory of mankind, Marxist Leninism, and with a proletarian worldview and methodology. Whether in politics, economy, culture, science, art, and so on, it represents the most advanced ideas and techniques of mankind, strong evidence of its infinite potential for development. For this reason, all progressive countries of the world, all specialists and scholars who truly love their countries and their people, are ardently learning Russian. Without learning Russian, we cannot fully assimilate the most advanced ideas and techniques of mankind, we cannot become true scholars and specialists, nor can we do well in our own country’s revolutionary cause and reconstruction." In September 1951, the CAS, under the pressure of the CCP started a political reeducation program. The Korean War reinforces the anti-western feelings and scientists are pressed to discard ‘hostile feudal ideas’ and ‘bourgeois’ ideologies which are inspired by western educated researchers. (see Article 47)
Two outstanding cases of this SU influence are the founding of the Renmin University and the reconstruction of Harbin Institute of Technology in 1950. The Renmin University is based on the principle of ‘connecting teaching with practice, combining Soviet experience and Chinese circumstances.’ and “adopt advanced Soviet experience in development and invite Soviet professors to train all kinds of cadres for the construction of the new country.” It became a model for a completely new style of higher education for universities throughout the country.
The students of the Renmin university consisted mainly of CCP cadres or youth league members and workers who had distinguished themselves in political work and/or labor and production.
The courses given are: Economic Planning, Factory Management, Finance-Credit, Cooperatives, Trade, Law, Diplomacy, and Russian. All students are required to follow lessons in Foundations of Marxism-Leninism, Dialectical and Historical Materialism, and Political Economy. Most of these teachings are given by SU specialists. (in 1950: 37 SU) The relation between the SU and the Chinese students caused several problems. "...,difficulties at Renda are not attributed to the experts but to those Chinese who “adopt an arrogant attitude” and are unwilling to learn from the Soviet instructors, to insufficient Chinese efforts to acquaint the Soviet experts with Chinese conditions, and to difficulties with the Chinese translators.16 Thus, in each case, responsibility for making the relationship work seemed to be a matter for the Chinese side guided by the principle that the Soviet experts could “do no wrong.” "
Measurements are taken to overcome these problems by criticizing conservatism or empiricism (in other words rejecting SU advice) and criticizing dogmatism (in other words considering SU advice as the ‘holy grail’). Pepper (1990) shows the pitfall "In this manner, the earlier much-criticized practice of relying wholly on unrevised Western teaching materials reproduced itself in the early 50s. Now, however, even the precise methods of instruction for each course were prescribed from Soviet practice."
The Harbin Institute of Technology specializes in technicians for the heavy industry and relies mainly on Russian knowledge and experts. " As Renmin University and Harbin Institute of Technology were approved by the central government to learn from the USSR, these two universities served as models for reforming Chinese institutions of higher education. Every year, they provided seminars led by Soviet professors for teachers and professors all over the country.47 Likewise, many universities were restructured along lines proven at these universities. Thus, Renmin University and HIT were established as flagship universities for post-secondary education reform in the Russian model." In October 1954, the Ministry of Higher Education designated six national key universities, among which HIT was the only one outside Beijing. On October 24, 1952, the Resolution of Chinese Academy of Sciences on strengthening study and introducing the Soviet Union’s advanced science was adopted. was made, deciding to organize a delegation to visit the Soviet Academy of Science for the purpose of studying their advanced experience in scientific work.
This was the starting point for even more influence of Soviet science and technology and the increase of learning the Russian language. In 1953, a delegation led by
Qian Sanqiang
Qian Sanqiang (1913-1992) Nuclear physics.
paid a visit to the SU. The major institution that the delegation visits is the Soviet Academy of Sciences. After their return, the CAS increases the number of Russian reading courses, increases the number of delegations to the SU and invites more Soviet experts. Guo (2020) remarks the visit was not perfect, the delegation had limited understanding of Soviet science, especially their knowledge on defense and military technology.
Meanwhile, the exchange of students starts, those students have to meet the following criteria for selection "(1) political loyalty; (2) academic record and potential; (3) family background; and (4) a social network that had no ‘political problem’.45 After 1953, China held a nationwide test to select students for the Soviet Union, including a screening process that was extremely competitive."
CAS started to receive Soviet experts after the signing of the accord for technical and scientific cooperation in October 1954 in Beijing. This agreement covers the free exchange of technical resources, including technical and scientific reports, technical experts and aid, and the latest information about scientific and technologic results. Most experts are male, some are allowed to bring family. Their motivation to go to China varies in terms of adventure, luxury, and conviction.
"With the formulation of the First Five-Year Plan (1953-1957), the Academy was reorganised with Russian assistance, slowly enlarged and expected to play a key role in the allocation of scientific resources."
The scientific cooperation between both countries had economic value for both. Particularly southern China was of interest for the SU, because it was the only large tropical area in the Eastern Block. In fact, it was in response to a special request from the Soviet requirement that the Chinese government initiated a large-scale project on the utilization of tropical resources in southern China, including integrated surveys on tropical biological resources conducted by the CAS with participation of Soviet scientists. Lac and rubber were the main tropical resources, in March 1953 the SU sent a delegation to explore the region. Natural rubber remained a very popular and strategic product.
In 1952, as a result of a series of treaties, agreements were made to offset the SU aid with the export of Chinese rubber. The SU had a severe shortage of rubber because of the embargo by the West. The main producer of natural rubber in the world then was the British colony of Malaysia. In the first 5 year plan, planting rubber trees on the island of Hainan is the 2nd largest program. The revenues are intended to pay off the su loans.
Pepper (1990) notes not only the structure of the education system is copied from the SU but also the teaching material. "Also following the Soviet example, nationally unified teaching plans, syllabuses, materials, and textbooks were introduced for every academic specialty or major. The content was based on translations of Soviet equivalents, which were sometimes simply reproduced verbatim."
The growing influence of the SU had more drawbacks. Politics interfere increasingly in science, Soviet scientists are looked up and have more privileges, (See Article 59) and Chinese researchers are cut off from developments in other countries because the exchange of ideas with non-SU experts are forbidden, so are scientific books and magazines from the West.


Before and after 1949, the scientists tried to keep their autonomy. The GMD government aspired to sinification, standardization, and specialization of the university curriculum, and most professors demanded more freedom. After 1949, the CCP tries to seek control. "Thus, when the CCP equally called for a standardization of the curriculum, installed mandatory political education courses and study groups with the aim of coordinating the political consciousness of those involved in educating a new generation of socialist-trained intellectuals, hardly anyone would have been taken by surprise – similar attempts had after all already been made under the exiled GMD government in Chongqing." From October 1949 on, all students of university departments of history, philosophy, education, economics, law, literature, and political studies have to take college on 1. Dialectical materialism and historical materialism (including a short history of social development) (first semester, 3 hours per week), 2. On New Democracy (including the history of modern Chinese revolutionary movements) (second semester, 3 hours per week), and 3. Politics and economics (starting from the second year of study for one total year of study, 3 hours per week).
Fig. 43.5 Teaching Hours of Marxist Theory Programs at Chinese Higher Education Institutions in 1952
Source: Yang (2002). Table 1
One of these aspects of this policy, as seen above, is the banning of US influence. This had severe consequences for the departments of humanities and social science (sociology, political science, law). They are either reduced in scope or abolished altogether. Approximately four thousand scholars lost their jobs and are forced to find other work. "The relocation of many pre-1949 intellectuals meant more than a change of institutions for them. If in the early years of the communist control intellectuals still enjoyed certain academic freedom within universities by exercising autonomy in teaching and research and maintaining authority as professors, they now lost the institutional shelter; the loss of which prevented them from pursuing their own interests. They were also urged to participate in the ideological reform campaign in late 1951, during which those with "black" family backgrounds and with Western-training had to go through a series of criticism and self-criticism sessions so as to get rid of the bourgeois stigmas."
The CCP encountered difficulties in controlling the universities, because they lacked cadres with sufficient education, and most of the cadres had not even completed secondary school. "Seniority in the party (based on the year in which one joined the party) and revolutionary credentials were important factors in determining a Communist cadre’s rank and position. Therefore, most ... were old cadres with very few years of formal education" Therefore, during the first years of the new regime, academics are still able to write articles on all kinds of subjects, as long as they claim an affinity with Marxism-Leninism and its methods, dialectical and historical materialism.
In 1941, Mao Zedong warned against this behaviour. "Although we are studying Marxism, the way many of our people study it runs directly counter to Marxism. That is to say, they violate the fundamental principle earnestly enjoined on us by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, the unity of theory and practice. Having violated this principle, they invent an opposite principle of their own, the separation of theory from practice. In the schools and in the education of cadres at work, teachers of philosophy do not guide students to study the logic of the Chinese revolution; teachers of economics do not guide them to study the characteristics of the Chinese economy; teachers of political science do not guide them to study the tactics of the Chinese revolution; teachers of military science do not guide them to study the strategy and tactics adapted to China's special features; and so on and so forth. Consequently, error is disseminated, doing people great harm."
Lee (2008) describes the dispute between militant CCP cadres and soft-liners. The militants believe that professors could not be trusted because of their bourgeois background and strong measures should be taken against them. The soft-liners made a distinction between anti-CCP behavior and bourgeois ideas. "For them, since most professors were not opposed to the CCP and their expertise was valuable, the party should work with them and let them gradually overcome their bourgeois ideas through their own effort at thought remolding."
Yang (2018) notices some other obstacles "In the early 1950s, public institutions in the fields of education, culture and hygiene faced certain problems like excessive size of staff, too many personnel, too high rate of administrators, too high criteria for building and facilities, too low of utilization of facilities, wastage of funds. So it was important to fix the number of persons and set quotas of facilities."
Yamada (1971) ascertains "By far the most irritating and serious disruptions to research were neither the excessive number of required meetings nor the extra administrative duties. Most scientists were annoyed by the feigned superiority, exclusiveness, hostility, and distrust openly displayed by party members toward specialists and their work. Party members generally lacked understanding or sympathy for research and the scientists remained a source of irritation. A closer look at the intelligentsia as a class reveals that they were, indeed, considerably different from the average party member in both background and outlook."


The introduction of Lysenkoism in the People's Republic of China is exemplary for the consequences of the 'rucksichlos' introduction of Soviet ideas.
Lysenko
Lysenko (1898-1976) Soviet Union. He rejected Mendelian genetic inheritance theory and promoted to plant seeds very close together since, according to his "law of the life of species", plants from the same "class" never compete with one another.
did experimental research on improved crop yields. Stalin backed his studies because due to the famine and loss of productivity resulting from forced collectivization in the 1930s, his projects seemed promising. Lysenko rejects the ideas of
Morgan
Morgan (1866-1945) US. He laid the foundation of the science of genetics.
whose ideas are internationally accepted. In the context of "learning from the SU” 'Morganism’ is rejected in the People's Republic of China and Lysenko’s report “The situation in biological science” is translated in 1949 and is considered mandatory in biology departments of the universities. Several SU biologists (followers of Lysenko) are invited to teach in China. Lectures which treat the ideas of Mendel, Weismann, and Morgan are forbidden and labeled “bourgeois,” “reactionary,” “idealistic,” “metaphysical,” and “pseudoscientific.” The SU encouragement of
Michurinist biology
Ivan Michurin (1855 - 1935) Soviet Union. He introduced scientific agricultural selection. During the Lysenkoism campaign, work by Michurin was misused, after his death, by the Soviet propaganda as an argument against genetics.
is a key element in the promotion of the “Sino-Soviet Friendship”. It is the showcase of SU science. This scientific approach of agriculture is considered a way to produce a surplus to finance the heavy industry (see Article 35) and as a way to pay back the SU loans (see Article 55).
In 1952, the CCP issued a total ban on Western biology related to genetics. "Science produced by and practiced in a bourgeois-capitalist society could only be idealist, formalistic, metaphysical. Only science that evolved out of a socialist society, like Lysenko’s biology, was valid. This class approach to science judged classical genetics with particular harshness. Geneticists were decried for the isolation of their laboratories from nature and production. Their concept of the gene was condemned as a mere figment of bourgeois idealism."
The new theory is introduced at new agricultural schools in Northeast China and spreads via major agricultural schools and research institutes all over the country. The CCP is convinced that Michurinist biology would increase agricultural production for the forthcoming first Five Year Plan; whereas, western genetics had no practical value.
And although increasingly critical SU comments started to appear in the People's Republic of China "…until late 1954 censorship and tight control prevented the press from publishing any translations from Soviet publications that were critical of Michurinist biology. This period saw recurrent public reprimands accusing biologists of violating the Party’s support of Michurinist biology. Some of the most severe reprimands were pitched at near-hysterical levels and were attenuated over months and even years. Miscreants were subjected to re-education sessions and their offending publications were taken out of circulation and destroyed."
This violent introduction of Michurinist biology provokes much criticism from scientists. In an editorial of the Renmin Ribao of June 29, 1952, the CCP states his opinion. It is an attempt to restore the relation with Chinese scientists and to uphold the SU theory. "A good Marxist-Leninist takes different approaches to politics and to science; so it is therefore thoroughly inappropriate to generalize and say that all of the ‘‘old biology’’ is idealist, reactionary, in service to the bourgeoisie, or fascist." and the newspaper concluded "In the new China, Morgan is not wanted; Michurin is."
It takes two more years before the first Chinese translations of SU critics, are distributed in People's Republic of China, and in December 1954 the Science Gazette (CAS magazine) circulates the debates nationwide.
Not only the ideas of Morgan are banned, even the ideas of Einstein are questioned. In 1947, the Renmin Ribao called Einstein “the world’s most renowned progressive scientist” and applauded his protest against U.S. militarism. Under the influence of the SU this opinion changes and in 1953 Einstein’s interpretation of relativity is condemned. After the death of Stalin, this opinion changes again with the acceptance of relativity and other scientific contributions of Einstein, but he is still criticized for his confusing and idealist worldview.
The observations of Wang (2015) are worth citing "The idea that the “today of the Soviet Union is the future of China” once gave countless Chinese people a bright vision of future, and the national policy of “leaning to one side” made China blindly worship the Soviet Union and Soviet experts in the Cold War. In 1954, when Soviet experts helped China manage the Yellow River construction planning, they held that conserving water and soil and blocking mud could make the river clear. Russia did not have rivers with as much silt as the Yellow River in China. The Yellow River was in China, and no people had a better understanding of the merits and demerits of the Yellow River and difficulties as well as the success and failure of water control there than the Chinese people. However, one sentence from Soviet experts made people take action to clear the river. Thus decisions that historically were never taken, were immediately decided. For example, the Japanese and the KMT had discussed the Sanmenxia dam project, and it was studied after the liberation, but the decision to dam the river was not made.97 When Soviet experts said it was possible, the decision was made quickly." He concludes "However, the project caused serious problems soon after it was finished due to its design defects - it had to be rebuilt, which indicated severe mistakes in the original decision-making."


On October 1, 1951, The People's Republic of China adopted the gaokao system (the National College Entrance Exam). It is mostly taken by senior high school graduates and their final score decides in which kind of college or university they can be registered at. Before this time, each university had its own admission procedure. With the introducing of the nationwide gaokao system the centralization of the entrance examinations is completed. "Situace byla nicméně ve ... se … stále poněkud roztříštěná, jelikož nedošlo ke standardizaci zkoušek. Jejich centralizace byla navíc pouze částečná, protože si univerzity nadále sestavovaly přijímací zkoušky dle vlastních požadavků,.." Graduated students with diplomas from any public or private senior secondary school, senior normal schools, secondary technical schools, and senior vocational schools can make an application for taking part in the examinations.
Taylor (1973) remarks "In 1954 nine examination subjects were named: the national language, political general knowledge, a foreign language (English or Russian), mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, history and geography.66 In addition to the compulsory subjects of national language, political knowledge, and a foreign language,67 the examinations were divided into two parts. Those applying for entry in the Sciences, engineering, medicine, agriculture and forestry specialties were examined in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. Candidates in the humanities, political Science and law, and finance and economics were to be tested in history and geography.68" and he continues the political examination is designed to discover personal opinions on particular current issues. The essay topic is awarded for its ideological content and has to have a political subject. For example, in 1953 the essay subject was ‘Recalling a revolutionary cadre whom I have known’
Otsuka (1998) notices "However, the cadre members of the People's Liberation Army and other administrative units who were already receiving supplementary courses are also admitted. This is one of the distinctive features left which has a strong transitional flavor. They only took entrance examinations in the subjects that had been part of the supplementary courses, and if they passed they were distributed among the universities preferentially. " Likewise, industrial workers, revolutionary cadres, ethnic minority students, and overseas Chinese students could count on some lenience.
Soviet advisors introduced the Workers-Peasant Accelerated Middle Schools. On April 3, 1950, the first Workers-Peasant Accelerated Middle School was opened, it was part of the Beijing University. Its purpose was to prepare children of workers and peasant background to study at universities. The courses have a length of 3 to 4 years. These schools are seen as a remedy to reduce the US influence and break the resistance against the new social order in universities. Besides, it should give children of workers and peasants the possibility to study in universities. The students had to be sons and daughters of outstanding worker-peasant cadres or workers who had participated in the revolution or industrial workers with experience. They had to be not older than 35 and in excellent health. At the end of 1950 twenty-four schools are founded and in 1954 there are 87 schools with 51.000 students. Only 0,4% have a peasant background. Workers-Peasant Accelerated Middle Schools are not a success, their academic standard is low and therefore are unable to raise the number of worker-peasant child students at universities. Two reasons can be mentioned, first, the low educational level of the the students who enrolled in the Workers-Peasant Accelerated Middle Schools, partly because 'retired' revolutionaries are sent to these schools as a reward for past services. Secondly, local authorities were reluctant to send qualified students because they feared they would not return to their villages.
Fig. 43.6 Higher education: enrollment by field, 1949-1954
Source: Hsü (1964). Pages 147-148
The admission committee allocated the students who have passed the examination. Three criteria play a role in the decision: the needs of national construction, the preferences of the students, and the standard of students at the institutions. The level of performance during the examinations is the most important criterion for those with the same preference.
Fig. 43.7 Engineering education: enrollment by field, 1953-1954 (%)
Source: Wang (2015). Page 66

Fig. 43.8 Holders of college diplomas 1952-1954
Source: Cheng (1965). Page 116


At the same time of the introduction of the gaokao system, the GAC takes the decision to ensure each graduate an assignment. See also Article 6 Students enrolled free of charge and were provided with stipends; after graduation, they were obliged to accept job placements from the state as their lifelong career, which was also described as “iron rice bowl” to describe the permanence, in whatever the position and wherever the location.
In 1951, the Shanghai administration decided to implement the unified allocation of jobs for university graduates. After one month of political courses, those graduates have to accept assignments anywhere in China. In 1952, more than 6000 Shanghai university graduates are sent to other parts of the mainland. Several of them departed for work in Northeast China near the Korean front. When the first five-year plan (1953-1957) began to pump money into less developed inland regions, economic justifications and material incentives could be offered to induce educated people to leave Shanghai. As a result, the moral campaign became somewhat less necessary. In 1953, the unified job assignment is extended across the nation. Although some students still try to choose their own job or reject the assigned one. On August 7, 1952, an editorial of the Renmin Ribao warns those students to act according personal wishes or preferences and to accept jobs at the frontier or a position as a teacher.

Fig. 43.9 Changes in job careers 1949-1954
Source: Davis (2000). Page 256
Davis (2000) states "Between December 1949 and December 1952, the number of state employees in the fields of education and medicine grew by 280,000, those in banking by 40,000, and those in government and party administrative offices (jiguan) by 27,000"


The dissemination of knowledge is not only limited to universities and other programs but also through the publication and circulation of scientific books. In 1950, there are 10 categories: social science, philosophy, history, geography, language, art, literature, natural science, and applied science. The most numerous books are social science books on Maoism-Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism and on domestic mass movements (Resist America Aid Korea)
Fig. 43.10 Types of books published in China 1949-1954
Source: Liu (1965 ). Page 23
After 1952, the number of books on social science and technology increases. On October 12, 1951, the first volume of the selected works of Mao Zedong are published. This volume contains 16 articles written between 1926 and 1937. The second volume is published on April 10, 1952 and contains 41 articles written between 1937 and 1941. At the end of 1952, more than 3 million copies are printed. The third volume, containing 36 articles written between 1941 and 1945, is published on April 10, 1953. In 1953, the CCP decided to set up a special bureau for the translation of the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin.
Hu Qiaomu
Hu Qiaomu (1912-1992) sociologist, Marxist philosopher
wrote in 1951 "Thirty Years of the Chinese Communist Party", which had a circulation of more than 7 million in 10 years. In 1952, several books are published on economic issues (e.g., Coal Mines of the Kailan Mining Administration, Treaty Ports, and Concessions) covering the period between 1900 and 1950.

Fig. 43.11 New Book Titles on Science and Technology
Published in PRC 1949-1954
Source: Liu (1965). Page 44
One problem is still not mentioned, a problem in existing science books and translated ones, the lack of unification of scientific and technological terms. "Chinese sci-tech translators have always attached great importance to the standardization and unification of technical terms. At the beginning of this century,an organization was established for the examination and approval of scientific and technological terms consisting mainly of translated words. Since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, China has strengthened terminological study and formulated principles and policies concerning the unification of scientific and technological terms."

"Das Ziel bestand darin, durch die Verlagerung von Institutionen regionale Ausgewogenheit herzustellen und durch den Abbau der renommierten Universitäten das Ingenieurwesen und andere technische Disziplinen zu fördern. Ziel der regionalen Reorganisation war es, in jeder der sechs großen militärischen Verwaltungszonen Chinas zumindest eine, maximal zwei Universitäten zu behalten."
Translation: "The aim was to create regional balance by shifting institutions and to promote engineering and other technical disciplines by dismantling the renowned universities. The aim of the regional reorganization was to keep at least one, and at most two, universities in each of China's six major military administrative zones." Stiffler (2003). Page 221 [↩] [Cite]
14 universities church bound: 燕京大学 Yenching University(1919-1952), 齐鲁大学Cheeloo University(1904-1952), 东吴大学Soochow University(1900-1952), 圣约翰大学St. John's University(1879-1952), 之江大学Hangchou Christian College(1845-1952), 华西协和大学West China Union University(1905-1952), 华中大学Huachung University(1871-1952), 金陵大学University of Nanking(1888-1952), 福建协和大学Fukien Christian University(1915-1951),华南女子文理学院Hwa Nan College(1908-1951),金陵女子文理学院Ginling College(1915-1952), 沪江大学Shanghai University(1906-1951), 岭南大学Lingnan University(1888-1952)and 湘雅医科大学Xiangya Medical University(1914-1949).
28-07-1950 GAC provisional measures for the control of private institutions of higher learning [↩]
Between 1950-1953 several polytechnical universities were founded or reorganized: Tsinghua Polytechnic University (Beijing) 1952, Tianjin Polytechnic University (Tianjing) 1952, Harbin Polytechnic University (Harbin,Heilongjiang Province) 1950, Northwestern Technological University (Xian,Shanxi Province) 1952, Jiaotong Polytechnic University (Shanghai) 195?, Jiaotong Polytechnic University (Xian,Shanxi Province) 195?, Tongji Polytechnic University (Shanghai)1952, Chongqing Polytechnic University (Chengdu Chongqing Province) 1952, Zhejiang Polytechnic University (Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province) 1953, Guangxi Polytechnic University (Nanning, Guangxi Province) 1953, and The University of Science and Technology (Beijing) 1952. [↩]
Wang (2015). Pages 161-162 [↩] [Cite]
GAC resolution on the reform of educational system cited in Chen Theodore Hsi-en (1981). Pages 12-13 [↩] [Cite]
Cited in U (2019). Page 50. [↩] [Cite]
Cao (2004). Page 27 [↩] [Cite]
Wang (2015). Page 53 [↩] [Cite]
http://sourcedb.ipe.cas.cn/yw/fas/201301/t20130115_3750271.html [↩]
Cao (2004). Page 57 [↩] [Cite]
Guo (2013). Page 40 [↩] [Cite]
"While Mao and his colleagues were making overtures to intellectuals, Chiang Kai-shek was ordering the execution or imprisonment of intellectuals deemed disloyal. The CCP capitalized on the moment by lionizing these “martyrs” in memorials in party journals and magazines. Yeager (2021). Page 42 [↩] [Cite]
Ruth (2008). Page 14 [↩] [Cite]
Translation: …, knowing that the posture of the intellectuals, and especially the students, after taking the cities would be crucial to the success of the regime. Mao himself had ordered that the Yenching and Tsinghua universities be spared during the fighting. Therefore, the army did not use heavy weapons in the immediate vicinity of these universities during the battles.19 The party set up military control committees to prepare for the takeover of civil administration in the cities. In Beiping, the military control committee founded a subcommittee on culture on December 21, 1948. Under the leadership of Qian Junrui, a specialist in the Party for Education, who was soon to become the Deputy Minister of Education and head of the Party Committee in the Ministry, this subcommittee on culture was divided into different sections for education, literature and the arts, museums and the press. Qian himself also took over the section for education. Stiffler (2003). Page 207 [↩] [Cite] [Cite]
Yao (1989). Page 449 [↩] [Cite]
Huang (1991). Pages 104-105 [↩] [Cite]
Wang (2015). Page 266 [↩] [Cite]
Cited in Wang (2015). Page 59 [↩] [Cite]
Zhang (2021). Page 10 [↩] [Cite]
Li (2012). Page 70 [↩] [Cite]
Li (2012). Page 84. [Cite] During his visit in July- August 1949, Liu Shaoqi had proposed to Stalin a Soviet-staffed university for Chinese cadres to be established in the Soviet Union. Stalin rejected this idea. Later on it was decided to locate the university in Beijing and have the Soviet Union send the teachers there.
16-12-1949 GAC decision to establish Renmin university
16-12-1949 MOE Implementation plan for Renmin university and
30-03-1950 Letter from Mao Zedong to Stalin with a request for professors for Beijing and Nanjing universities [↩]
"Since Liu (Shaoqi) had little confidence that workers and peasants could become university students overnight, the compromise solution would be recruiting both poorly educated old cadres of proper red background and better-educated young intellectuals of more heterogeneous backgrounds and bringing them together in the urban atmosphere of the new, red university." Stiffler (2007). Page 295. [Cite]
Stiffler remarks "There existed a serious divide in the early years between younger cadres with relatively high levels of education (middle school or some college) and older cadres who sometimes possessed only elementary-school-level educations. This considerably complicated Renda’s mission of training Chinese Communist cadres in the new Soviet knowledge." Stiffler (2010). Page 307 [↩] [Cite]
Stiffler (2010). Pages 307-308 [↩] [Cite]
Pepper (1990). Page 41 [↩] [Cite]
The Harbin Institute of Technology was founded in 1920 as the Harbin Sino-Russian School for Industry to educate railway engineers. On June 7, 1950, the administration of HIT was taken over by the Chinese government [↩]
Li (2012). Pages 84-85 [↩] [Cite]
Guo (2020). Page 523 [↩] [Cite]
Han Donglin (2013). Pages 1117-1118. [Cite]
"Zhang Wentian (ambassador in SU) created a special section of the Chinese embassy in Moscow dedicated to managing the educational exchange, in close cooperation with a three- person commission created in 1950 to oversee Chinese students abroad at the highest level: Nie Rongzhen (chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army), Li Fuchun (northeast deputy to the Central Committee), and Lu Dingyi (Central Committee propaganda director)— all of whom had studied in the Soviet Union in the 1920s. They reported directly to Zhou Enlai, and Liu Shaoqi was deeply involved as well." McGuire (2018). Page 283 [↩] [Cite]
Lindbeck (1961). Page 105 [↩] [Cite]
Zhang (2013). Page 33 [↩] [Cite]
See documents 21-11-1950 Cable from Stalin to Mao Zedong with a request on the purchase of natural rubber for the SU ,
10-09-1951 Telegram from Stalin to Mao Zedong about the Chinese plan to plant of rubber trees in PCR
28-08-1952 Cable, Zhou Enlai to Chairman Mao [Zedong] and the Central Committee and
01-09-1952 Report, Zhou Enlai to Chairman Mao
Ginsburgs (1976) notices "...the Soviet govemment granted China a credit in the sum of 8.55 million rubles to finance expenses connected with the development of rubber plantations on Hainan island and the coastal zones of south-east China." Ginsburgs (1976).Page 10 [↩]
Pepper (1990). Page 41. She continues "The teaching plans specified the aims, requirements, and contents of each major, including the courses to be taught within it. The syllabus for each course was so detailed as to include the items to be taught, their sequence, the time to be spent on each item, and the exact material to be covered during each hour of instruction. All institutions were directed to adopt these uniform teaching plans and syllabuses as they were prepared by the central authorities." [↩] [Cite]
Strauss (2013). Pages 583-584 [↩] [Cite]
Strauss (2013). Page 585, note 9. [Cite] From April 5, 1952 all officials of government offices also have to "study".
Fig. 43.12 Work and study schedule of Government offices

Source: Yu (1955). Page 20

28-07-1950 MOE decision concerning the adoption of reforms in the curriculums of institutions of higher learning
"Because when the People's Republic of China was first established, the political enthusiasm of progressive students in major cities was very high. Therefore, when the government explicitly ordered political courses in colleges and universities, the response was generally good. Most students are not disgusted because of the freshness. However, over time, things changed drastically. On the one hand, there was no unified political teaching material at that time. Most of the political teachers in schools did it reluctantly. They had very little understanding of the knowledge of the CCP and its theories. They could only read newspapers and interpret dogmatic slogans as teaching content. This method of teaching quickly begins to tire students." Yang (2013) No page number. [Cite] [↩]
Cao (2004). Pages 42-43 [↩] [Cite]
Lee (2008). Page 77 [↩] [Cite]
Lee (2008). Page 79 [↩] [Cite]
Yang (2018). Page 200 [↩] [Cite]
Yamada (1971). Page 507. [Cite]
"A typical curriculum of the technical institute in China is as follows: 1. Political studies: 400 hours, about 10 per cent. of total. 2. Basic science: higher mathematics, physics and chemistry. 3. Basic technology: about 34 per cent. of total. 4. Specialised courses: 28 per cent. 5. Russian: three years. 6. Thesis planning: 10-12 weeks. 7. Experiment: 16-28 weeks. 8. Physical education: two hours weekly for first and second year undergraduates. 9. Vacations: six weeks in summer and two weeks in winter”. "In an attempt to accelerate graduation the Chinese compressed the five-year Soviet curriculum into a four-year programme, resulting in an extremely heavy load of 60-70 hours a week for the student, although the Ministry of Education prescribed only 36 classroom hours and 18 study hours weekly.91 In addition, the student has to participate in numerous political meetings and labour work during rest hours, weekends, and even vacations." Hsü (1964). Page 143 and Page 157 [↩] [Cite]
Li (1988). Page 227 [↩] [Cite]
Schneider (2010). Page 330 [↩] [Cite]
Schneider (2012). Page 541 [↩] [Cite]
Cited in Schneider (2012). Page 537 [↩] [Cite]
"As Professor Fu Ying of Beijing University noted with but thinly veiled sarcasm, previously it had been impossible to disagree with Lysenko's theories. More recently, after those theories began to be criticized in the Soviet Union, it had become impossible not to disagree with them." Pepper (1990). Page 43 [↩] [Cite]
Hu (2007). Pages 549-550 [↩] [Cite]
Wang (2015). Page 83 [↩] [Cite]
Wang (2015). Page 81 [↩] [Cite]
Translation However, the situation was still somewhat fragmented …, since the tests were not standardized. Moreover, their centralization was only partial, because universities continued to take entrance examinations according to their own requirements,.." Lutka (2013). Page 25. [Cite]
"Yanbian University, opened in 1949, was the first minority university in China with the Korean language as the main language of instruction. In the National University Entrance Exam, Joseonjok students also have the option of testing in Korean." Han (2010). Page 234 [↩] [Cite]
Taylor ( 1973). Page 24 [↩] [Cite]
Otsuka (1998). Page 71 [↩] [Cite]
"Furthermore, in 1953, the following groups were included as the target of preferential admission: graduates from short-term worker and peasant schools; industrial, mining, workers and peasants with more than three years of experience; those with a peasant background who were members of revolutionary cadres of more than three years standing; revolutionary cadres of more than five years standing; along with minority students and overseas Chinese students. These groups were granted preferential admission "when they achieved the basic pass mark for the department to which they had applied". Otsuka (1998). Page 71 [↩] [Cite]
Peterson (1997). Page 52. [Cite] See also Miethe (2019). Pages 73-80 [↩] [Cite]
Lynn (1978). Page 57 [↩] [Cite]
"This concern reached the very top of the government. In August 1950, Mao Zedong (1987: 1463) sent a short note to Zhou Enlai asking him to see that the responsible people take care of three Qinghua graduates who had refused their assignments." Davis (2000). Page 272 [↩] [Cite]
Davis (2000). Page 256 [↩] [Cite]
Liu (1965). Page 19 [↩] [Cite]
Mengzhi (1999). Pages 191-192 [↩] [Cite]

Decisions...

Decision of the Government Administration Council regarding the leadership provided for institutions of higher education. Passed July 28, 1950; promulgated Aug. 2, 1950.
Decision of the Ministry of Education on the implementation of curriculum reforms in institutions of higher education. Approved July 28, 1950; promulgated Aug. 2, 1950
Provisional rules for institutions of higher education. Approved July 28, 1950; promulgated Aug. 14, 1950.
Provisional rules for technical schools. Approved July 28, 1950; promulgated Aug. 14, 1950.
Provisional measures governing the control of private institutions of higher education. Approved July 28, 1950; promulgated Aug. 14, 1950.

Chapter 5 of Common Program