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Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the event marking the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China at Tiananmen Square, Beijing. Source: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters.
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  • Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed a “new world” this morning as China’s Communist Party marked the centenary of its founding
  • In an hour-long address, he pledged to build up China’s military and committed to the “reunification” of Taiwan
  • Xi also warned foreign forces attempting to bully the nation “will have their heads bashed”
  • Last year, the party’s ranks grew by around 2.43 million — the largest annual gain since Xi took power in 2013 — to a total of 95.15 million members

Chinese President Xi Jinping has hailed a “new world” as China’s Communist Party marked the centenary of its founding, and warned foreign forces attempting to bully the nation “will have their heads bashed”.

In an hour-long televised address from Tiananmen Square, Xi also pledged this morning to build up China’s military and committed to the “reunification” of Taiwan.

“The people of China are not only good at destroying the old world, they have also created a new world,” Xi said.

“Only socialism can save China.”

Both Xi — the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong — and his party are riding high with China’s rapid recovery from COVID-19 and the nation’s more assertive stance on the world stage.

However, Beijing is facing growing international criticism over its political crackdown in Hong Kong and the treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, and is also dealing with a worsening demographic outlook that threatens long-term economic growth.

But Xi said the people of China would never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate them.

“Anyone who dares try to do that will have their heads bashed bloody against the Great Wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.”

When it came to the issue of Taiwan, Xi was equally adamant.

“Solving the Taiwan question and realising the complete reunification of the motherland are the unswerving historical tasks of the Chinese Communist Party and the common aspiration of all Chinese people,” he said.

“All sons and daughters of China, including compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must work together and move forward in solidarity, resolutely smashing any ‘Taiwan independence’ plots.”

Established in 1921, the Chinese Communist Party — which ultimately came to power in 1949 under Mao — initially recruited peasants and workers. In the years since, it’s evolved to embrace markets and entrepreneurship under “socialism with Chinese characteristics” while retaining a Leninist model of authoritarianism.

Last year, the party’s ranks grew by around 2.43 million — the largest annual gain since Xi took power in 2013 — to a total of 95.15 million members.

Xi said any attempt to divide the party from the Chinese people or to set the people against the party was 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,” he said.

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