Education minister Yuan Guiren said educational institutes should maintain political integrity and "never let textbooks promoting Western values appear in our classes," Xinhua news agency said.
The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said the move marked the latest step in President Xi Jinping’s ideological campaign, which has seen the media and the Internet come under tighter control and is now being extended to campuses.
Yuan’s comments came at a forum on Thursday attended by the heads of leading Chinese institutes including Peking University and Tsinghua University.
He told university officials to strengthen management of the use of textbooks and materials imported from the West.
Remarks that slandered the communist leadership, smeared socialism or violated the country's laws must never appear or be promoted in the classroom, Xinhua reported Yuan as saying.
He also called for teachers to hold the "political, legal and moral bottom line."
Last Saturday, the communist party journal Qiushi raised concerns about academic freedom by attacking Peking University law professor He Weifang for defaming the Chinese legal system, the Post reported