President Xi Jinping kicked off China’s five-yearly Communist Party Congress with a wide-ranging speech defending Beijing’s zero-Covid approach, hailing its anti-graft efforts, and reasserting its ambition to absorb Taiwan.
Why China’s zero-Covid policy hurts
The lockdown measures have hammered domestic production and choked global supply chains further
“The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is a very important congress convened at a critical moment,” Xi said.
Key takeaways from Xi’s address based on reports include the following.
Xi said, “Confronted with drastic changes in the international landscape, we have maintained firm strategic resolve and shown a fighting spirit. Throughout these endeavours, we have safeguarded China’s dignity and core interests and kept ourselves well-positioned for pursuing development and ensuring security.”
Hong Kong and Taiwan
He said, “The situation in Hong Kong has achieved a major transition from chaos to governance,” he said, going on to pledge a “major struggle against separatism and interference” in Taiwan.”
Xi added that “the Taiwan issue must be resolved by Chinese people alone”.
“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, and reserve the option to take all necessary measures,” Xi said.
“We will intensify military training under combat conditions across the board to see that our armed forces can fight. We will innovate new military strategic guidance and develop strategies and tactics for people’s war, establish a strong system of strategic deterrence, increase the proportion of new domain forces with new combat capabilities, and intensify military training under combat conditions.”
“In order to enhance the innovation capacity, China will move faster to launch a number of major national projects that are of strategic, big-picture, and long-term importance. Efforts will be made to improve the new system for mobilising resources nationwide to make key technological breakthroughs, and boost China’s strength in strategic science and technology.”
Xi said, “We will work actively and prudently toward the goals of reaching peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality. Based on China’s energy and resource endowments, we will advance initiatives to reach peak carbon emissions in a well-planned and phased way, in line with the principle of getting the new before discarding the old.”