This Sunday, October 16, the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party opened in Beijing. The event takes place every five years since the creation of the party in 1921. This year, Xi Jinping should obtain an unprecedented third term as general secretary of the CPC. The last time a Chinese leader exceeded the two-term limit in this post was forty years ago with a certain Mao Zedong. According to the newspaper South China Morning Postthis political event is “the most important in China for a decade”.
For his keynote address to some 2,300 CPC delegates, Xi Jinping listed the achievements of the past five years and outlined a trajectory for the party and the country over the next five years and beyond. “The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China is meeting at a critical time when the whole Party and people of all ethnicities are embarking on the path of building a modern socialist country,” he said. For nearly an hour and a half, the strong man from Beijing addressed the Covid-19 crisis, global warming as well as the situations in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
- Covid-19: China prioritized “people and human lives”
China has prioritized “people and human lives” in its fight against the coronavirus, assured Xi Jinping, in response to criticism of its strict zero Covid policy, which weighs heavily on the economy.
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China has “strongly safeguarded the safety and health of the people and achieved significant results”, insisted the leader, whose country has faced international criticism for its initial response considered late after the discovery of the first cases in Wuhan (center) at the end of 2019. “Our fight against Covid has won international praise, our international influence has increased significantly”, he continued.
- Taiwan: “We will never renounce the use of force”
The Chinese president reaffirmed his wish to take over Taiwan, with the use of force if necessary. “We will work with the greatest sincerity and the greatest efforts for the peaceful reunification (of Taiwan), but we will never renounce the use of force and we reserve the possibility of taking all necessary measures,” he said. he declares. Beijing considers the island of 23 million inhabitants as an integral part of its territory and regularly reaffirms its intention to reunite it. Xi Jinping also denounced any “separatism and interference” concerning Taiwan.
“The resolution of the Taiwan issue is the business of the Chinese people themselves and must be resolved by the Chinese people alone,” said Xi Jinping. “The reunification of the fatherland must be achieved and will be achieved”, he added, condemning all “separatism and foreign interference” in this affair. Xi Jinping also welcomed what he describes as a transition from “chaos to governance” in Hong Kong, shaken in 2019 by major pro-democracy demonstrations. To restore calm in the autonomous territory, Beijing had imposed the following year a controversial law on national security, condemned by Western countries for its attack on freedoms in the city.
- Climate: “We will actively participate in global governance”
China, one of the biggest polluters on the planet, will continue its efforts against global warming. “We will actively participate in global governance on climate change,” said Xi Jinping, while pledging to “strengthen the clean and efficient use of coal”. The country, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, is highly dependent on this fossil fuel to power its power plants.
- “Overwhelming victory” in the fight against corruption
In his speech, Xi Jinping also defended his fearsome anti-corruption campaign, responding to critics who accuse him of using it to bring down rivals and consolidate power. “The fight against corruption has won a landslide victory and has been comprehensively consolidated, eliminating serious dangers latent within the CCP, the state and the military,” he said.
According to official figures, at least 1.5 million people have been sanctioned. China has made progress in the right direction, according to the ranking of the NGO Transparency International on the perception of corruption. The offensive accelerated as Congress approached.
- Refuse the “cold war mentality” in international relations
Beijing refuses a “Cold War mentality” in international relations, Xi Jinping said in a clear allusion to the United States, which he did not explicitly mention. “China resolutely pursues an independent and peaceful foreign policy,” he said.
The country “categorically opposes all forms of hegemonism and power politics, the Cold War mentality, interference in the internal affairs of other countries and the practice of ‘double standards'” , insisted the Chinese president.
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