China’s growth is deemed “irreversible”

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As China commemorates the 100th anniversary of its Communist Party, Xi cautions against foreign intimidation and vows reunion with Taiwan; Hong Kong remains mute.

At the Chinese Communist Party’s centennial celebrations yesterday, President Xi Jinping praised China’s “irreversible” path from colonial humiliation to great-power status, in a speech that reached deep into history to remind patriots at home and rivals abroad of his nation’s — and his own — ascendancy.

Speaking from the podium where Mao Zedong established the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Xi said the “period of China being bullied is gone forever,” applauding the party for boosting salaries and restoring national dignity.

Xi claimed the party had brought about “national rejuvenation,” lifted tens of millions out of poverty, and “altered the landscape of world growth,” drawing a line from the Opium Wars’ enslavement to the fight to create a socialist revolution in China.

Xi, who was dressed in a Mao-style jacket, went on to say that the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese country has entered an irreversible historical trajectory” and promised to keep building a “world-class” military to protect national interests.

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“The Chinese people will never allow any foreign forces to intimidate, oppress, or enslave us,” Xi declared to thunderous applause throughout his address.

“Whoever dares to do so would be met with carnage in front of a Great Wall of steel erected by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.”

Xi was uncompromising in his call for the “full reunion of the motherland” on the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its sovereignty.

“All sons and daughters of China, including compatriots on both sides of the strait,” he added, “must work together and move forward in unity, and decisively smash any ‘Taiwan independence’ schemes.”

Mao and a group of Marxist-Leninist intellectuals formed the Communist Party in Shanghai in the summer of 1921, and it has since grown into one of the world’s most powerful political organizations.

It presently has a population of about 95 million people, a result of a century of war, hunger, and upheaval, as well as a recent rise to superpower status, pitting it against Western competitors led by the United States.

A fly-by of helicopters in formation spelling ‘100,’ with a gigantic hammer and sickle banner trailing, and a 100-gun salute followed in a show of pomp and patriotism, as young communists vowed loyalty to the party in unison.

Xi has put on a defiant show in front of foreign adversaries, inflaming nationalist fervour. He has rebuffed criticism of his government’s activities in Hong Kong, stance toward Taiwan, and persecution of Muslims from the Uyghur ethnic group.

The president, whose speech intertwined China’s economic miracle with the party’s longevity, has solidified his eight-year control by establishing a personality cult, abolishing presidential term limits, and refusing to designate a successor.

And the party has shifted its focus to new problems, including as leveraging technology to re-engage younger generations — 12.55 million members are now 30 or younger — and providing a communist finish to a consumer economy dominated by billionaires.

Yesterday was also the 24th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese control, a date that was formerly marked by massive anti-Beijing protests in the former British territory.

In reaction to massive, often violent pro-democracy rallies a year ago, China slapped a harsh national security ordinance on the city.

As a result of the law, campaigners have been prosecuted, anti-China chants have been criminalized, and a critical publication has been closed, plunging the formerly freewheeling city into a “human rights emergency,” according to Amnesty International.

Source: The Daily Star

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