(Beijing) President Xi Jinping on Sunday defended his brutal approach to fighting COVID-19 and corruption by opening a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) congress that will give him a historic third term in office within a week. the country
Updated at 0:12
Barring one dramatic change, the new coronation, which will take place on October 23, the day after the congress, will make Mr Xi the most powerful leader since the regime’s founder Mao Tse-tung (1949-1976). )
20e The CPC congress “comes at a critical time when the entire Party and people of all races are on the road to building a modern socialist country,” Xi said in his opening speech to about 2,300 delegates gathered at the massive People’s Palace in Tiananmen Square. Beijing.
Arriving at the podium to thunderous applause, Xi Jinping, 69, spent more than an hour and a half reflecting on the past five years and laying out his roadmap for the next five.
He blasted interference by “external forces” from the island of Taiwan, which the Chinese regime considers part of its territory.
“We will try to pursue the possibility of peaceful reunification with great sincerity and great efforts, but we will never commit to abandoning the use of force and we have the opportunity to take all necessary measures”, he threatened.
He also felt that Hong Kong had gone from “chaos to rule” after Beijing’s aggressive takeover of the territory, which saw massive pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019.
Protect “public health”.
Above all, one of the main questions revolved around whether to continue the strict “zero COVID-19” strategy inextricable from the Chinese president — thanks to which Mr. Xi claimed that China had put human lives first. into all, above all.
He said China has “highly safeguarded people’s safety and health, and achieved significant positive results by coordinating epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development.”
This “Zero COVID-19” policy has strengthened social control over citizens whose every move is now computerized, a country that has already been criticized on the international stage for human rights violations.
The country’s near-lockdown and repeated lockdowns have stalled growth, with this year expected to be the weakest in four decades, excluding the COVID-19 period.
If the official press hammered home this week that it was “irresponsible” to “fold down” in the face of the virus, the economic cost of this strategy and the public discontent it provoked were undeniable.
Sometimes the anger goes beyond social networks: this week and despite tight security measures in the capital, a man hung two banners against the Chinese leader and Zero COVID-19 on a bridge in Beijing. One called for citizens to strike and oust the “traitorous dictator Xi Jinping.”
In his speech, Xi Jinping defended his fierce anti-corruption campaign, responding to critics who accuse him of using it to bring down opponents and consolidate power.
“The fight against corruption has been a resounding success and the serious latent dangers in the party, state and the army have been removed and integrated comprehensively,” he said.
According to official figures, at least 1.5 million people were sanctioned in this campaign, eager for bribes from “tigers” (top leaders) and “flies” (small officials) as soon as he came to power in 2012. As Congress approached, the attack accelerated.
Finally, China’s president promised that his country would “actively promote” the fight against global warming, one of the biggest polluters on earth.
The CPC’s 2,300 or so delegates, drawn from all provinces and some dressed in their traditional clothes, will appoint a new central committee by next Saturday, a kind of party parliament with about 200 members, including the political bureau. And its 25 head decision making body.
In fact, they only confirm decisions made upstream by different factions in the party: moreover Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, chosen as a compromise man between factions before imposing his control over the years.
A crucial element was the composition of the future Standing Committee, a group of seven or nine people at the highest pinnacle of power. But Mr. Xi, analysts say, is unlikely to give any hint of a possible successor.