At the opening of a key meeting of the Chinese Communist Party, President Xi Jinping said that China has achieved comprehensive control over Hong Kong, turning it from chaos to governance, while condemning what he said was interference in Taiwan.
Xi Jinping walked onstage to thunderous applause from nearly 2,300 delegates who have gathered at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People for the once-in-five-year Communist Party congress that is set to elevate him to a third term.
“The situation in Hong Kong has achieved a major transition from chaos to governance,” Xi told Communist Party delegates at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, while vowing a “major struggle against separatism and interference” in the self-ruled island of Taiwan.
He said it is up to the Chinese people to resolve the Taiwan issue and China will never renounce the right to use force. “We will adhere to striving for the prospect of a peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and greatest efforts, but will never commit to abandoning the use of force,” he said.
After weathering months of criticism over the effects of his country’s strict zero-Covid policy, Xi said China had put “the people and their lives first” when dealing with the pandemic. He said China had “protected people’s safety and health to the highest degree and achieved significant positive results in coordinating epidemic prevention and control”.
Beijing will “actively participate in global governance on climate change,” Xi told Communist Party delegates while promising to “strengthen the clean and efficient use of coal”.
He also said that crackdown on corruption had eliminated “serious latent dangers” within the country’s ruling party and military.
Xi said China will accelerate the building of a world-class military and strengthen its ability to build a strategic deterrent capability. “China will aim for high-quality economic growth and the next five years will be crucial for building a modern socialist power,” he said.
The President also said that Beijing opposed a “Cold War mentality” in international diplomacy, though made no mention of frayed relations with the United States. “China resolutely opposes all forms of hegemony and power politics, opposes the Cold War mentality, opposes interfering in other countries’ domestic politics, opposes double standards,” he said.
Should everything go to plan for Xi, the 69-year-old will be reconfirmed as the party’s general secretary after the week-long meeting, cementing his position as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.
In the closed-door conclave, the delegates will also pick members of the party’s roughly 200-member Central Committee, which in turn selects the 25-person Politburo and its all-powerful Standing Committee — the country’s highest leadership body.