Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called for building a strong military to defend the country and warned that the Chinese people will never allow any foreign force to “bully, oppress, or subjugate them”, as the country marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party.
Addressing the centenary celebrations of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the historic Tiananmen Square here, Xi in over an hour-long address also said that integrating Taiwan with the Chinese mainland is a historic mission of the ruling party.
“SAFEGUARDING NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY”
“No one should underestimate the great resolve, the strong will, and the extraordinary ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
“We must accelerate the modernisation of national defence and the armed forces,” Xi, 68, said in his address telecast live by the official television channels.
“We are equipped with greater capacity and more reliable means for safeguarding our national sovereignty, security, and development interests,” he said.
Xi said China does not oppress other countries and will not allow others to “bully us.”
“We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will,” Xi said.
“The Chinese people will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us,” he said.
“Anyone who would attempt to do so will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people,” he warned.
Resolving the Taiwan question and realising China’s complete reunification is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment of the CPC, he said. China claims the estranged island of Taiwan as part of its mainland.
“We must take resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt toward ‘Taiwan independence,’ and work together to create a bright future for national rejuvenation,” Xi said.
A crowd of over 70,000 people comprising party and military officials besides schoolchildren cheered his speech.
100 YEARS OF CPC
Founded by Mao Zedong on July 1, 1921, the CPC formally completed 100 years of existence on Thursday. It also remained in power since the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was formed in 1949.
Highlighting the importance of CPC to China, Xi said any attempt to divide it from the Chinese people is “bound to fail”.
“The more than 95 million party members and the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people will never allow such a scenario to come to pass,” Xi said.
He said the firm leadership of the CPC must be upheld. The leadership of the party is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and constitutes the greatest strength of this system, he said.
“It is the foundation and lifeblood of the party and the country, and the crux upon which the interests and wellbeing of all Chinese people depend,” he said.
“WILL NOT ACCEPT PREACHING”
China has always worked to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and preserve international order, Xi said.
In an apparent reference to the US allegations of genocide committed against Uygur Muslims of Xinjiang as well as the imposition of the national security law in Hong Kong much against the will of the local people, Xi said China welcomes helpful suggestions, but won’t accept sanctimonious preaching.
“We are eager to learn what lessons we can from the achievements of other cultures, and welcome helpful suggestions and constructive criticism,” said Xi, also the chairman of the Central Military Commission.
“We will not, however, accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us,” he said, calling for elevating the Chinese military to world-class standards.
He said China will elevate its armed forces to world-class standards so that “we are equipped with greater capacity and more reliable means for safeguarding our national sovereignty, security, and development interests.”
“We must accelerate the modernisation of national defence and the armed forces,” Xi said.
The people’s military is a strong pillar for safeguarding the socialist country and preserving national dignity, and a powerful force for protecting regional and world peace, he noted. He also said the military should work under the party leadership.
MARXISM IN CHINESE CONTEXT
He said CPC must continue to adapt Marxism to the Chinese context.
At the fundamental level, the capability of the party and the strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics are attributable to the fact that Marxism works, Xi said.
“We will use Marxism to observe, understand, and steer the trends of our times, and continue to develop the Marxism of contemporary China and in the 21st century,” Xi said.
Xi said “as we have upheld and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics and driven coordinated progress in material, political, cultural-ethical, social, and ecological terms, we have pioneered a new and uniquely Chinese path to modernisation and created a new model for human civilisation.