China’s Xi Jinping causes alarm with mass student trips to the country

Date: May 4, 2019
Analysis by Steven Jiang, CNN 

Red Guards, high school and university students, waving copies of Chairman Mao Zedong’s “Little Red Book,” parade in June 1966 in Beijing’s streets during the Cultural Revolution.

Beijing (CNN)An unremarkable Communist Party directive has sparked painful memories of past trauma for millions of people across China, with many drawing parallels with one of the most notorious policies of the Cultural Revolution.

The ruling Communist Party’s Youth League detailed plans in late March for 10 million volunteering trips for China’s urban youth to the countryside in the next three years.

Under the guideline, university and vocational school students will be expected to spend their summer vacations participating in technological, medical and cultural development in impoverished villages nationwide to deepen a “rural rejuvenation” championed by President Xi Jinping.

While the scheme is supposed to be voluntary, given Xi’s personal endorsement of the plan it is likely to be seen as compulsory for many university students keen to advance in the party and the government.

Up to 100,000 young migrant laborers will also be encouraged to return to their rural hometowns by 2022 for work, including starting their own businesses with the help of “youth entrepreneur organizations,” set up by local authorities.    [FULL  STORY]