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Communist Congress opens: Xi Jinping threatens Taiwan with military action

Communist Congress opens: Xi Jinping threatens Taiwan with military action

The communist leadership sees the PDR as only part of the People’s Republic and threatens to occupy it. On the other hand, Taiwan, with a population of 23 million, has long considered itself independent. Tensions recently escalated after China intensified its military activity near the island to increase pressure on Taiwan.

Xi warned of “potential dangers” and hard times. In a keynote address to some 2,300 delegates in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday, the president called for “preparing for the worst case.” “So prepare and be prepared to withstand high winds, rough seas, and even dangerous storms.”

“Modern Socialist State”

In the speech, Xi, who is fiercely ideological, called for resolutely following his party’s leadership to build a “modern socialist country” with “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” The next five years are crucial for that. Internationally, the party leader saw “enormous risks and challenges” as well as “global changes not seen in a century.”

The 69-year-old Chinese president has set China on an increasingly authoritarian path that prioritizes security, state control of the economy in the name of “common prosperity,” more assertive diplomacy, a stronger military, and the takeover of democratically governed Taiwan. He also abolished presidential term limits four years ago, paving the way for a third five-year term as general secretary of the ruling Communist Party. Xi Jinping is expected to seek another term.

While the 69-year-old ignores previously respected term limits, the Politburo is occupied for age reasons. The personnel change in the communist leadership is also a prelude to the upcoming March session of the People’s Assembly, when a new prime minister will be installed and a new government formed.

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He praised China’s “necessary” strict strategy to combat the coronavirus, which has made “tremendous and encouraging achievements” both in the fight against the epidemic and in economic development. As the rest of the world tries to live with the virus, China continues to pursue a zero-tolerance goal — with lockdowns, mass testing, quarantines and contact tracing slowing the economy.

The focus of the party congress, held only every five years, is to expand Xi Jinping’s power and re-elect him for a third term. Delegates should further entrench his ideology as a guiding principle in the party constitution and appoint a new Central Committee.