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Xi Vows to Strengthen China’s Military and Reiterates COVID Stance as Party Congress Begins 

Beijing has frequently emphasised its dedication to Xi's zero-COVID approach

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

CHINA: President Xi Jinping made a speech laying out the Communist Party’s goal for China for the next five years on Sunday during the 20th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress, covering everything from Taiwan to digital policy.

The once every five year meeting at Congress, where he highly predicted winning a third term as leader, solidifying his position as the nation’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, takes place at a time when China’s economy is in peril.

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The party’s management of the situation in Hong Kong, which was shooked by anti-government protests in 2019, was also praised by Xi.

In the imposing Great Hall of the People on the western side of Tiananmen Square, under tight security and clear sky after many hazy days in the Chinese capital, the twice-decade assembly of nearly 2,300 delegates from throughout the nation got underway.

Statements made during party

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Regarding Taiwan, Xi stated, “We have steadfastly waged a great war against separatism and meddling, proving our strong commitment and capabilities to preserve state sovereignty and territorial integrity and resist Taiwan’s independence.”

“The delegates applauded enthusiastically in response while wearing blue face masks. The 96 million-member party “has won the biggest struggle against poverty in human history,” Xi added.

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During his decades in office, Xi, 69, has led China on a path toward authoritarianism that has prioritized security, state control of the economy in the name of “shared prosperity,” more aggressive diplomacy, a braver military, and rising pressure to grab democratically-governed Taiwan.

Regarding COVID, Xi said that China had received positive feedback from throughout the world.
Beijing has frequently emphasized its dedication to Xi’s zero-COVID approach recently, dashing investors’ and many Chinese citizens’ expectations that Beijing would soon start ditching a policy that has resulted in widespread resentment and economic harm.

Xi stated, “We have upheld the primacy of the people and the supremacy of life, upheld dynamic zero-COVID,… and achieved big positive outcomes in the overall prevention and management of the epidemic, as well as economic and social growth.”

On the economy, he reiterated his support for the private sector and the freedom of the market to function, even as China perfects a “socialist economic system” and fosters “shared prosperity.”

“We must create a high-level socialist market economic system… unswervingly consolidate and develop the public ownership system, unswervingly encourage and support the growth of the private economy, give full play to the market’s decisive role in the allocation of resources, and give better play to the role of the government,” he said.

Party’s power

Despite the turmoil of the past year, which has seen China’s economy dramatically slow due to the frequent lockdowns of the COVID policy, a crisis in the real estate market, the effects of his 2021 crackdown on the once-freewheeling “platform economy,” as well as external pressures, Xi’s power seems unaffected.

Because Xi backed Vladimir Putin in Russia, China’s ties with the West have drastically deteriorated.

Xi, the son of a Communist Party revolutionary, has reenergized a party that had become severely corrupt and, much more irrelevant, growing its influence throughout China with Xi as its “centre.”

By abolishing presidential term limits in 2018, Xi made it possible for him to defy decades of history and reign for a third five-year term or longer.

The party’s leadership has been “completely strengthened,” he added, “and we’ve made sure that the party performs the role of leadership core in controlling the broader situation.”

“We have achieved the millennia-old ideal of a Chinese country of modest prosperity through constant struggle.”

The Congress anticipates reaffirming Xi’s appointment as the Central Military Commission’s chairman and the party’s general secretary, the most powerful position in China.

Xi’s term as president will be up for renewal at the annual session of the Chinese parliament in March.

An industry source said that in the weeks before the congress, the Chinese capital tightened security and COVID control. At the same time, steel mills in the neighbouring Hebei province were told to scale back activities to enhance air quality.

Also Read: Meeting Between Xi and Putin to Discuss Ukraine War: Kremlin

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