Wednesday, February 21

Xi assures that China “will not give up the use of force” to achieve “reunification” with Taiwan

The general secretary of the Communist Party of China (PCCh) and undisputed leader of the Asian giant, Xi Jinping, declared this Saturday that he will pursue “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan but that China will not give up “the use of force as an option”. Xi has described his country as a power that will promote world peace and will “never seek hegemony” or “expansionism.”

Xi opened the 20th Congress of the formation this Saturday with a speech in which he called for further strengthening his power with a third five-year term unprecedented among his predecessors. During his speech, the Chinese president assured that “in response to separatist activities that seek ‘independence’, and crude provocations from abroad, we have fought with determination, demonstrating skill and strength to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity”

The congress, which will be held throughout this week in the Great Hall of the People, was opened by the current number two of the formation, Li Keqiang, who will leave his post as prime minister in March. Xi has dedicated his speech to giving an account of what has happened in the country since the last congress, held five years ago, before the almost 2,300 delegates present.

He also did so before former party leaders present such as Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao, or Song Ping, 105 years old and a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the pinnacle of power, between 1989 and 1992.

The great absentee was Jiang Zemin, the nonagenarian ex-president and considered the head of one of the contending factions within the communist formation. Former Vice Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli did appear, accused last year of sexual abuse by tennis player Peng Shuai, who later recanted and said she had been misunderstood.

Ideology, key to discourse

Xi did not waver during his speech, which lasted for about two hours, only pausing the monotonous cadence of the speech being read to take a few sips of water and receive cheers from the delegates present.

The president opened with references to the adaptation of Marxism-Leninism to the Chinese context, the defense of “the effectiveness of communist popular democracy” or calls to build “a modern socialist country in all aspects under the rule of law.”

“Ours is a noble cause, we must not forget our original mission. We have to have the courage and confidence to advance socialism,” he proclaimed.

He added that the CCP has established “strategies” to deal with “changes not seen in the world in more than a century,” promising greater distribution of wealth or emphasizing the country’s “technological advances” and “innovation.”

“We have to improve the well-being of the people,” as well as “guarantee security and social stability as a requirement to build a strong and prosperous China,” he said.

Xi also had words about the “sudden attack” of the covid pandemic: “We put people and their lives above all else with our tenacious covid zero policy. We have protected people’s health to the greatest extent possible.”

Against foreign interference

In addition to addressing the Taiwan issue, Xi also devoted part of his speech to Hong Kong and the “turbulent developments” that have occurred there in the last five years.

“The central government exercised its jurisdiction to ensure that Hong Kong was ruled by patriots. We restored order,” he maintained.

Thus, “foreign inference” had a prominent place in the speech: “In the midst of drastic changes in the international arena, we remained strong and showed a fighting spirit to safeguard our dignity and interests. We are well positioned to continue our development and ensure our safety.”

During the conclave, the Chinese leader once again aspires to his loyalists occupying the main positions within the Party, while questioning whether he will place a potential dauphin among the highest positions.

But a third Xi term also raises suspicions among those who predict “a worsening of civil and political rights, which were already severely restricted, given that the authorities respond to complaints with more censorship, arbitrary arrests and repression,” recently denounced the NGO Human Rights Watch.

media restrictions

Hours before the conclave, which is being held in an armored Beijing and under strong restrictions for journalists due to the draconian measures against covid, the thick layer of pollution that covered the Chinese capital in recent days disappeared to make way for the characteristic blue sky of the big events.

The journalists remained in quarantine two days beforehand in order to attend the meeting, during which the use of masks, mandatory white or blue, was mandatory, in line with China’s zero covid policy.

With information from EFE.