- China’s leader Xi Jinping said the country’s rejuvenation was “a historical inevitability” and it could no longer be “bullied and abused by others”, delivering a strong message on the ruling Communist Party’s centenary. Mr. Xi, is the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) general secretary, the country’s President, and head of the military.
- President Xi Jinping told a crowd of 70,000 in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square that the era of China being bullied was ‘gone forever’ and the country would not allow ‘sanctimonious preaching’ from foreign forces. Anyone who tried ‘will find themselves on a collision course with a steel wall forged by 1.4 billion people’.
- Mr. Xi’s speech focused on themes he has stressed since taking over in 2012 — the “national rejuvenation” of China as well as greater political centralisation, with his term seeing a move away from a collective leadership model with term limits to rule by one “core” leader.
- He praised the party’s “socialism with Chinese characteristics” model for “enabling China to transform itself from a highly centralised planned economy to a socialist market economy brimming with vitality, and from a country that was largely isolated to one that is open to the outside world across the board” and is now the second-largest economy.
- He said the party had, since its congress in 2012 when he came to power, “fulfilled the first centenary goal” which was eliminating absolute poverty, a landmark the government said was achieved this year. The second centenary goal, referring to the People’s Republic of China’s centenary in 2049, would be to build China “into a great modern socialist country in all respects”.
- Mr. Xi also had a strong message for the world, reflecting on China’s past history of “humiliation”. “After the Opium War of 1840, China was gradually reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society and suffered greater ravages than ever before. The country endured intense humiliation, the people were subjected to great pain, and the Chinese civilisation was plunged into darkness,” he said.
A brief history of China’s Communist Party:
The Chinese Communist Party, which came to power in 1949 under Mao, initially recruited peasants and workers, but has evolved to embrace markets and entrepreneurship under “socialism with Chinese characteristics” while retaining a Leninist model of authoritarianism. Since its origin in Shanghai in 1921, the Chinese communist party has grown to be one of the world’s most powerful political parties. It celebrated its 100th birthday on 1 July. (July 1 was unilaterally decided as the Foundation Day by Mao Tse Tung in 1941, although the official records show that the party was born on July 23, 1921, at Mao’s house in Shanghai’s French Quarter. )