Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke Thursday at a celebration for the 100-year anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, commending the party for its accomplishments and asserting China’s role on the world stage.
Xi stressed the importance of safeguarding sovereignty and national security, expressing a commitment to govern Hong Kong and “reunify” with Taiwan.
“Resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China’s complete reunification is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment of the Communist Party of China,” Xi said.
“The Chinese people will absolutely not allow any foreign force to bully, oppress or enslave us and anyone who attempts to do so will face broken heads and bloodshed in front of the iron Great Wall of the 1.4 billion Chinese people,” Xi said.
The references to bashing heads and bloodshed were not included in the Chinese state media’s English translation of the speech, according to The AP.
China has viewed U.S. diplomatic efforts toward Taiwan as a threat to sovereignty, calling U.S. senators’ visit to the country in June a challenge to “Beijing’s red line over the Taiwan question,” according to Newsweek.
China has repeatedly denied Taiwan’s claim to sovereignty under the “One China” policy, which states that the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government of China, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
But Taiwan is not the only country that appears to be under attack from China. Over the last year, the Chinese government has taken steps to suppress Hong Kong’s democratic freedoms.
Last week, China shut down Apple Daily, a pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong.
For many Hong Kong citizens, the paper was one of the few vessels of information that did not contain Chinese propaganda. Journalists for the outlet are reportedly being targeted by state police, and one of its editorial writers was just arrested at the Hong Kong International airport on Sunday.
According to a police statement cited by NBC News, the reporter could face a lifetime in prison for allegedly “conspiring to collude with foreign countries or foreign sources to endanger national security.”
Many journalists who sought to hold the Chinese government accountable for its totalitarian actions are reportedly now fearing for their lives.
Still, Xi stressed the need for modernizing the military, pointing to threats to sovereignty from foreign nations.
“We will turn the people’s military into a world-class military, with even stronger capabilities and even more reliable means to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” he said.
Xi went on to congratulate the Communist Party’s economic policies that allowed China “to transform itself from a highly centralized planned economy to a socialist market economy brimming with vitality.”
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