China’s ruling Communist Party on Thursday marked its centenary with a massive parade in Beijing and a warning from leader Xi Jinping to “any foreign forces” that China would not be “bullied”.
In an hour-long speech to a crowd of thousands on Tiananmen Square, Mr. Xi hailed China’s “national rejuvenation” — a theme he has emphasised since taking over in 2012 and found mention 24 times in his speech — and the leadership of the party, upon which, he said, China’s “success hinges”.
He also delivered a strong word of warning saying China was “not intimidated by threats of force”.
“We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will. By the same token, we will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us,” he said, adding that “anyone who would attempt to do so will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people,” according to the official English translation of the speech. The original language was more vivid, using a Chinese idiom saying those who attempted to do so would collide into the wall and see “their heads broken and blood flowing”.
Mr. Xi said a century ago China “was in decline and withering away in the eyes of the world” but today “the image it presents to the world is one of a thriving nation that is advancing with unstoppable momentum toward rejuvenation”.