China drafts new rules to ensure foreign teachers protect national ‘honour’

Nathan VanderKlippe:

China is sweeping foreigners into its demands for political conformity with a draft policy for international teachers that mandates ideological training sessions, prescribes a new tracking system to monitor conduct and threatens to punish those accused of damaging the country’s dignity.

The draft policy, released Tuesday for a month of comment, formalizes expectations for foreign teachers who work in China, many of whom have already been instructed to avoid classroom discussion of subjects the Chinese Communist Party considers sensitive – forbidden topics that include the Tiananmen Square massacre, the status of Taiwan and the mass incarceration of Uyghurs.

In doing so, education authorities have made clear new political oversight requirements for international schools in China, where dozens of institutions are backed by Canadian provinces.

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Education is an important component of Canadian trade with China and a key sector for foreign passport holders in the country; between 30 and 40 per cent of the international work force in China is employed in education, according to China Services International, a state-backed foreign recruitment firm.