Chinese president says only the Communist Party could ‘save’ China and that people and party cannot be separated.
China’s President Xi Jinping told crowds gathered in Beijing that the era of China being “bullied” was over and that anyone who tried to separate the party and the Chinese people was doomed to failure as celebrations to mark 100 years of the Communist Party got under way in the Chinese capital.
Speaking from the balcony above the portrait of Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square, Xi spoke of the party’s successes since its founding in 1921 – how it had freed China from an “exploitative” feudal system and created a “socialist market economy brimming with vitality”.
“Only socialism could save China,” said Xi, who was dressed in a dark grey Mao-style suit. “And only socialism with Chinese characteristics could develop China.”
The Chinese Communist Party defeated the nationalists in the country’s civil war in 1949 and Mao Zedong declared the People’s Republic of China with the goal of lifting people out of crushing poverty. China is now the world’s second-largest economy.
Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu, reporting from Beijing, said Xi’s underlying message was that the party had “delivered on its promises” and made “China great again”.