The term Sinosization gained a new political meaning in 2016. In late April, 2016, Xi presided over a working conference on national religious affairs, making him the first Chinese president to do so in over ten years. The last time a president personally attended such a conference was in 2001, when then-President Jiang Zemin decided to crack down on “cults” after the Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident related to Fanlun Gong. Xi’s attendance at the conference significantly raised the importance of religious affairs on the CCP’s agenda. During the conference, Xidemanded that China should “actively guide religions to adapt to the socialist society.”
Xi said that the key to the CCP’s policy on religious affairs is “the way of guidance,” which should be “effective, powerful, and proactive.” Chinese youth in particular, Xi said, must be guided to “believe in science, study science, spread science, and to have a correct worldview.” As for CCP members, they “should be firm Marxist atheists and must never find their values and beliefs in any religion,” Xi added.
The just finished CCP conference reinforced and accelerated this attitude.