China’s Xi’s lays out his vision as party congress begins – CNN
Xi said the progress China had made under his watch was “truly remarkable,” but more needed to be done as the country moves towards a goal of “national rejuvenation” — a phrase he used repeatedly during the more than three-hour speech.
Standing at a podium before almost 3,000 delegates and a televised audience of millions, he said China’s “international standing has risen as never before.”
“Our party, our people, our forces, and our nation have changed in ways without precedent,” he said from the Great Hall of the People in the heart of Beijing.
Pictures shared on social media showed the marathon speech being watched in workplaces, schools — even kindergartens.
Tigers, flies, foxes
The week-long 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China will see President Xi formally granted a second five-year term as the party’s general secretary and a new generation of senior Chinese leaders anointed.
The meeting will also chart the country’s future course in a world where China’s reach is now extending — and being felt — further than ever before.
Domestically, Xi detailed China’s economic accomplishments in the last five years, including lifting 60 million people out of poverty, improving living standards, education, enhancing law, order and national security.
He said the crackdown on corruption that’s been a hallmark of his leadership had swept through all levels of the party.
“No place has been out of bounds and no grounds left unturned. No tolerance has been shown in the fight against corruption. We have taken firm action to take out tigers, swatted flies, and hunted down foxes,” he said, using shorthand for officials big and small.
Xi’s anti-graft campaign has brought down more than a million officials, according to state media, including senior politicians who were often viewed as Xi’s rivals.
The audience, which broke into applause at regular intervals, included former Chinese Presidents Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, who was spotted looking at his watch as the speech reached the three-hour mark.
With the world “in the midst of complex changes,” Xi also positioned the country as a “torch bearer” for ecological issues.
The country has, by default, emerged as an unlikely environmental leader after US President Donald Trump quit the Paris climate accord in June.
“There is a fundamental improvement in the environment and the goal of building a beautiful China is basically attained.”
Xi’s speech was short on specifics, especially when it came to foreign policy.
He didn’t mention the escalating tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile program although, as he listed the country’s accomplishments, he briefly touched on the South China Sea, where China has reclaimed land, turning reefs and sandbars into military bases in defiance of an international court ruling.
“Construction on islands and reefs South China Sea has seen steady growth,” he said.
He also warned against “separatist activity” and had strong words for Taiwan, which is regarded as a breakaway province, saying that reunification was key to realizing China’s “national rejuvenation.”
Steven Jiang reported from Beijing, Katie Hunt wrote and reported from Hong Kong. CNN’s Hilary Whiteman, Joshua Berlinger and Rudolph Birgelen contributed to this report
Powered by WPeMatico