The Chinese president says that only the Communist Party could “save” China and that the people and the party cannot be separated.
Chinese President Xi Jinping told people gathered in Beijing that the era of China’s “intimidation” was over and that anyone who tried to separate the party and the Chinese people is was doomed to failure while celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party are underway. in the Chinese capital.
Speaking from the balcony above the portrait of Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square, Xi spoke for more than an hour about the party’s successes since its founding in 1921 – how it had liberated China from a “exploitative” feudal system. it created a “socialist market economy” full of vitality and eliminated absolute poverty.
“Only socialism could save China,” said Xi, who was dressed in a dark gray Mao-style dress. “And only socialism with Chinese characteristics could develop China.”
The Chinese Communist Party defeated the nationalists in the country’s civil war in 1949 and Mao Zedong declared the People’s Republic of China with the aim of driving people out of poverty. China is now the second largest economy in the world.
Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu, who reports from Beijing, said Xi’s underlying message was that the party had “fulfilled its promises” and made “China big again.”
The celebrations came with Beijing under pressure on trade – where tensions are growing with countries including the United States and Australia – and its policies in the western region of Xinjiang, as well as in Hong Kong and and Tibet. There are also questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, which was born in the central city of Wuhan, and continues to wreak havoc around the world.
At the head of a party and an increasingly trusted nation, Xi warned that any attempt to separate the party and the people was “forced to fail.”
Data released Wednesday show that party membership has increased by 2.43 million last year, the largest increase since Xi became president in 2013.
While in China “welcome[d] friendly suggestions from all over the world, ”Xi said, adding that the country will not accept“ arrogant conferences ”.
The loudest applause and applause came when Xi said that the Chinese “will no longer allow any foreign power to intimidate and oppress”, and that whoever tried to do so “will be mistreated by the perseverance of the Chinese nation.”
“No one should underestimate the will and power of the Chinese nation to fight against foreign power,” Xi added.
The centenary celebrations in Beijing began with a flypast in which about 30 military aircraft formed a “100” in the sky above the blazing crowds. There were also trumpets and horns sounding communist songs, and the salutes of 100 guns fired into the sky in extravagant celebrations of national pride.
The entire nation was mobilized to observe the day – from the giant city of Shanghai where the CCP was founded and the party’s first congress was convened – to the small towns of Xinjiang where Beijing was accused of suppressing rights. of the Uighur ethnic minority.
Xi, who has removed a two-term limit for the presidency and is considered the most powerful leader in the country since Mao, has been joined by other senior leaders on the southern strongholds of the Forbidden City.
Reported by Shawn Yuan in Shanghai