In an effort to tighten the government's hold on the education system, Chinese President Xi Jinping has demanded to the country's colleges and universities to support the ruling Communist party.

Xi said in a meeting that colleges and universities must "serve the Communist Party in its management of the country".

"Adherence to the Party's leadership is essential to the development of higher education in the country", Xi was quoted as saying by Xinhua. He said China must "build universities into strongholds that adhere to Party leadership".

According to reports, China has always been against the spread of "Western values" at educational institutions and has also campaigned against the same. In January 2016, officials said inspectors from the party's discipline and anti-graft group were sent to supervise teachers for "improper" remarks in class.

This all started in 2012 after Xi became the chief of the party. Since then, Beijing has put a strict watch on free expression, detaining and jailing activists and lawyers, silencing internet critics and intensifying restrictions on journalists.

"The party's policies in education must be fully carried out" and the party must raise the ability of its grassroots organizations at schools to do "ideological and political work", Xi said during the meeting on Thursday, 8 December.

Xi, a populist strongman, also said, teachers needed to be both "disseminators of advanced ideology" and "staunch supporters of [party] governance."

However, these kinds of restrictions and crackdown are not new for Chinese people. Syllabus and especially speech at universities are tightly controlled by the government, fearing the possible repeat of the pro-democracy protests in 1989 – led by the students.

Qiao Mu, an outspoken professor from Beijing Foreign Studies University and also one of the victims of the crackdown on academia, said Chinese students had long had "socialist values" drilled into them by teachers. "They're already used to it."