Chinese Communist Party Congress: Xi defends ‘zero COVID-19’ policy

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Chinese Communist Party Congress: Xi defends ‘zero COVID-19’ policy

Unsurprisingly, Xi is expected to renew his term the day after the conference concludes, on September 23.

The president Xi Jinping defended her today its strict policy against COVID-19 during his opening speech at his conference Chinese Communist Party (CCP), in which he is expected to secure in a week a third five-year term as general secretary of the ruling party, the most powerful position in the country.

Unsurprisingly, Xi is expected to renew his term the day after the conference ends on September 23, making him the most powerful leader since the founder of the People’s Republic of China Mao Zedong (1949-1976).

The 20th CPC congress is being held “at a crucial time when the entire Party and people of all ethnic groups are committed to the road of building a modern socialist country,” Xi said in his opening speech to some 2,300 delegates. which meet in the massive Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

Taking the podium to applause from the participants, the 69-year-old Xi Jinping began for more than an hour and a half to take stock of the past five years and present his road map for the next five years.

Xi denounced the meddling of “foreign powers” in Taiwan, the island that Beijing considers part of its territory.

Xi Jinping

“We will try to pursue the prospect of a peaceful reunification, with the greatest sincerity and the greatest efforts, but we will never commit to abandoning the use of force and we reserve the possibility to take all necessary measures,” he said.

“We have resolutely waged a struggle against separatist tendencies and meddling, and demonstrated our determination and ability to safeguard national sovereignty, territorial integrity and oppose Taiwan’s independence,” the Beijing strongman also underlined.

He also noted that Hong Kong has gone “from chaos to governance” since Beijing took over the former British colony, where massive pro-democracy protests took place in 2019.

Protecting the “health of the people”

Mainly, while one of the key questions being raised is whether or not to maintain the strict “zero COVID-19” strategy, which is inextricably linked to the Chinese president, Xi noted that China has put, through this policy , human lives above all.

China has “protected the safety and health of the people to the highest degree and achieved significant positive results by coordinating epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development,” he said.

This “zero COVID-19” policy has strengthened social control over Chinese citizens, all of whose movements are now electronically recorded, in a country already under international criticism for human rights abuses.

The country’s near-shutdown and repeated lockdowns have halted growth, which this year is expected to be the lowest in four decades, excluding the COVID19 period.

Although the official press noted this week that being “asleep” on the virus would be “irresponsible”, the financial cost of this strategy and the popular resentment it causes are undeniable.

This week, despite heightened security in the Chinese capital, a man hoisted two banners hostile to the Chinese leader and his “zero COVID-19” policy on a bridge in Beijing.

One called for citizens to go on strike and oust “traitor dictator Xi Jinping.”

“serious risks”

In his speech, Xi also defended his anti-corruption campaign against criticism from those who accuse him of using it to destroy his opponents and consolidate his power.

“The anti-corruption fight has won an overwhelming victory and has been fully established, eliminating the serious, latent dangers within the Party, the state and the military,” Xi stressed.

According to official figures, at least 1.5 million people were punished during this campaign, which Xi launched as soon as he came to power in 2012 to prosecute “tigers” (senior leaders) and flies (lower officials). who thirst for bribes. This attack accelerated as the conference approached.

Finally, the Chinese president assured that his country, one of the biggest polluters on the planet, will “actively promote” the fight against climate change.

The approximately 2,300 KKK delegates, who have come to Beijing from all provinces, some dressed in their traditional costumes, will by next Saturday appoint the new Central Committee, a kind of party parliament of about 200 members, whose the Politburo and its 25 heads constitute the decision-making body.

In reality the delegates will only ratify decisions made in advance by the various CCP wings: this is how Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, after all, who was chosen as a compromise man between the wings before imposing his authority over of years.

Of key importance will be the composition of the future Standing Committee, the group of seven or nine personalities at the top of power. But Xi is not expected, according to analysts, to give any indication of a possible successor.

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