On an imposing stage, under the portrait of Mao Zedong, the man who caused the great famine, was Chinese leader Xi Jinping carrying out his commemorative speech for the 100th anniversary of China’s Communist Party.
Dressed in a gray suit, with five microphones in front of him and a crowd of some 70,000 CCP members divided between faithful followers and soldiers, the autocrat emulated the figure of Mao making a speech in which he highlighted the importance of Chinese civilization, the party he leads and the supposed success of “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” He also took the opportunity to send greetings to the administrations of Hong Kong and Macao, and also sent serious warnings to Taiwan and the West.
China, which today is emerging as a global economic power with an important presence in multilateral institutions — such as the United Nations — and in several underdeveloped regions of the planet — such as Africa, through controversial loans — is the main enemy of the United States on the geopolitical chessboard and its expansion may represent a serious threat to the Western world. Therefore, Xi Jinping’s speech should not be ignored, it is necessary to listen carefully.
Nikkei Asia published a text translated into English with Xi Jinping’s full speech.
The alleged success of “socialism with Chinese characteristics”, a recurring theme in Xi Jinping’s speech
After the economic failure generated by orthodox Marxist-Leninist policies in China, Deng Xiaoping promoted a series of reforms that opened the way to what is known today as “socialism with Chinese characteristics”, this hybrid private-state model where many claim that China became a capitalist country, which is inaccurate, especially considering the large presence of the CCP in the country’s private enterprises.
For China, Xiaoping’s reforms were a success, as he achieved the initial economic take-off that today positions the Asian country in the eyes of the world. For this reason, in his speech regarding the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China, the current leader of the Chinese regime, Xi, constantly mentioned the importance of this Chinese socialism:
“We established the Party’s basic line for the primary stage of socialism, resolutely advanced reform and opening up, overcame risks and challenges from every direction, and founded, upheld, safeguarded, and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics, thus bringing about a major turn with far-reaching significance in the history of the Party since the founding of the People’s Republic of China,” said Xi Jinping, who then detailed this system.
“This enabled China to transform itself from a highly centralized 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. It also enabled China to achieve the historic leap from a country with relatively backward productive forces to the world’s second largest economy, and to make the historic transformation of raising the living standards of its people from bare subsistence to an overall level of moderate prosperity, and then ultimately to moderate prosperity in all respects.”Xi Jinping
In his speech, Xi constantly spoke on the importance of achieving national rejuvenation and also addressed the institutional strength that the Communist Party of China developed during these 100 years of life. He also highlighted the importance of Chinese civilization in the development of humanity and the history of the CCP itself and its most emblematic leaders, such as Mao Zedong, to whom the autocrat paid honors as he did to other representatives of the Communist Party.
Today China, although it continues with its expansion process, has to overcome a series of important obstacles that may complicate its political project in the long term. For example, according to a report by the Financial Times, in the last year, the Asian giant suffered its first population decline in five decades and that is why the CCP is waiting to reveal the most recent census data.
Beyond paraphernalia, Xi Jinping sent a tough message for Taiwan and the West
Xi Jinping’s speech, which lasted about 65 minutes or so, was mostly devoted to highlighting the prowess of the Communist Party and the Chinese people in general. He forgot to mention of course its dark episodes and more tragic stages.
However, beyond the expected paraphernalia, there was a moment where the regime’s leader took the opportunity to send a message to the special administrations of Hong Kong and Macao, as well as a harsh message to Taiwan and the West.
Xi assured that he will honor the “One Country, Two Models” treaties, under which Hong Kong and Macao have been administered for decades; this despite the fact that the regime has been systematically torpedoing the autonomies of the special regions during the last years, especially the Hong Kong one.
“We will stay true to the letter and spirit of the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong, and the people of Macao administer Macao, both with a high degree of autonomy. We will ensure that the central government exercises overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong and Macao, and implement the legal systems and enforcement mechanisms for the two special administrative regions to safeguard national security. While protecting China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests, we will ensure social stability in Hong Kong and Macao, and maintain lasting prosperity and stability in the two special administrative regions.”Xi Jinping
Xi’s tone rose in aggressiveness when he focused on Taiwan, the island that today presents a geopolitical challenge for both China and the West, since the regime has its eyebrows crossed to erase its independence as the CCP leader made clear during his speech.
“Resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China’s complete reunification is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment of the Communist Party of China. It is also a shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation. We will uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, and advance peaceful national reunification,” Xi said, in a clear allusion that the goal is not to let Taiwan continue as an independent country.
“All of us, compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must come together and move forward in unison. We must take resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt toward “Taiwan independence,” and work together to create a bright future for national rejuvenation. No one should underestimate the resolve, the will, and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”Xi Jinping
Following the words of the leader of the Chinese regime, the Taiwanese island responded to China’s threats through a statement from the Mainland Affairs Office in Taipei: “The only way to create positive interactions and the sustainable development of cross-strait relations is to abandon attempts to impose a political framework on Taiwan and intimidate Taiwan militarily, and respect our important initiatives of ‘peace, equality, democracy and dialogue’.”
Xi Jinping was emphatic in sending a bellicose message to his potential enemies, the West in general, and the United States in particular, asserting that he will not let any foreign power attempt to violate China’s sovereignty or harm the interests of the Asian nation.
“The Chinese people will never allow any foreign forces to bully, coerce and enslave us,” said Xi Jinping. “Whoever attempts to do that, will surely break their heads on the steel Great Wall built with the blood and flesh of 1.4 billion of Chinese people.”
This last message, along with the Taiwan message, are undoubtedly part of the rhetoric Xi will continue to use in the coming years in his efforts to maintain his expansionist political project.