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Peking University to host huge Marxism conference in 2018

A general view shows delegates attending the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 18, 2017. Source: Reuters/Jason Lee

China’s best university is set to host the 2nd World Congress on Marxism in May 2018, set to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth.

Peking University in the capital Beijing will host the forum from May 5 to 6 and is expected to see more than 300 Marxism researchers attend to discuss the left-wing ideology in the 21st century, reported the state news agency Xinhua on Sunday.

With the theme of “Marxism in the current world and China,” the event will also mark the 40th anniversary of the inception of communist China’s reform period, in which it became more economically liberal and turned it into the second largest economy in the world.

The first Congress was held back in 2015. Peking University is the highest-ranking Chinese institution in the Times Higher Education Rankings and was recently named the ninth best university in Asia according to the Quacquarelli Symonds’ (QS) Asia University Rankings.

The country’s Double First Class project – which has run since 2015 and operates on a five-year cycle – aims to reach a number and quality of world-class universities among the best in the world by 2050.

According to Peking University’s School of Marxism’s vice-president Gu Hailing, the World Congress will promote China’s “solution” and “modernisation approach” to other developing countries. Delegates will come to understand “China road, China theory, and China experience,” he said.

While accused by many commentators of having no coherent ideology, China’s Communist Party continues to insist the answer is communism and that force must be used to maintain order.

Last week, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech stretching more than three hours in which he declared China was reclaiming its rightful place in the world and its historical glory – emphasising the need for “socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.”

The Chinese government has been accused of attempting to undermine academic freedom in a range of western countries including the United States, UK and Australia.

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