Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that any country trying to “bully” China “will face broken heads and bloodshed” during a defiant speech Thursday marking the centenary of the Communist Party.
“The Chinese people will never allow a foreign power to bully, oppress or enslave us, and anyone who tries to do so will face broken heads and bloodshed for the Great Iron Wall of 1.4 billion Chinese,” he said. At the celebration near Tiananmen Square, thousands of people filled up with Chinese flags waving and singing patriotic songs.
“Without the Communist Party, there will be no new China,” he said to loud applause.
Xi delivered his speech amid growing criticism of China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic that was first reported in Wuhan in December 2019 and the human rights abuses linked to its treatment of a moral minority. Uyghur detainees in forced labor camps in Xinjiang.
The United States and other countries have also taken action against China, which has the world’s second largest economy, for its unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.
At the event, which included a military transit, Xi predicted that China would soon have the largest fighting force in the world.
“We will transform the People’s Army into a world-class army, with stronger capabilities and more reliable resources to protect the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” he said.
Xi also pledged to complete “reunification” with democratic rule in Taiwan.
“Solving the Taiwan issue and realizing the complete reunification of the motherland are the two constant historical tasks of the Communist Party of China and the common pursuit of all Chinese,” he said.
“All sons and daughters of China, including compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, should work together and move forward in solidarity, and act resolutely against any ‘Taiwan independence’,” Xi said.
Although Taiwan is self-governing, China believes it is part of its territory and has vowed to seize the island nation as part of its “one China” policy.
But Taiwan withdrew after Xi’s speech, saying that although the Communist Party had achieved “a degree of economic development”, China remained a dictatorship.
“His historical mistakes in decision-making and persistent harmful actions have led to serious threats to regional security,” Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement.
“Our government’s determination to firmly defend the nation’s sovereignty, democracy and freedom of Taiwan and maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait has not changed,” she said.