Xi Jinping Opens China Communist Party Congress

On Sunday, Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping opened the twice-a-decade National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party in Beijing. A total of 2.3K delegates are expected to approve him for a third five-year term as chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the end of the weeklong congress.

Xi Jinping Opens China Communist Party Congress
Image credit: Nick Fewings / Unsplash

Facts

  • On Sunday, Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping opened the twice-a-decade National Congress of China's ruling Communist Party in Beijing. A total of 2.3K delegates are expected to approve him for a third five-year term as chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the end of the weeklong congress.
  • During his opening speech, Xi emphasized ensuring China's national security and called for strengthening and modernizing the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) as part of the nation's "rejuvenation" and to protect Chinese interests.
  • Noting that the party congress comes at a "critical time" for China, Xi also defended the country's strict "zero covid" policy against growing criticism of its social and economic impact. He also praised Hong Kong's transition from "chaos to governance" under the rule of the People's Republic of China.
  • Regarding Taiwan, which mainland China claims as part of its territory, Xi stressed that Beijing seeks peaceful reunification. However, he emphasized that Beijing reserves the right to take any measures, including the use of force, and cautioned "foreign forces" against meddling.
  • In response to Xi's remarks, Taipei said Sunday it wouldn't compromise on its national sovereignty, freedom, or democracy - underscoring that the majority of Taiwanese reject Beijing's "one country, two systems" approach.
  • Xi is reportedly set to be reconfirmed as the CCP's general secretary at the end of the meeting - reportedly making him the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong - and the party congress will also decide on new members for the 200-member Central Committee. The latter body, in turn, elects the Politburo and its Standing Committee.

Sources: Guardian, Al Jazeera, hindu, Economist, RT, and France24.

Narratives

  • Pro-China narrative, as provided by News CN. Given Washington's aggressive rhetoric and actions, it's understandable for Beijing to strive to rejuvenate and bring its military up to world-class standards by 2027. Contrary to Western claims, China is not seeking to dominate through military might but to protect its legitimate national interests. Unlike the US, it's not part of China's political culture to interfere militarily in the internal affairs of other states.
  • Anti-China narrative, as provided by Free Beacon. China under Xi Jinping increasingly resembles a dictatorship. Not only is he responsible for China's genocide against the Uyghurs but under his rule, Beijing is increasingly abandoning the path of a rules-based order. That he is now seeking a third term and is threatening democratic Taiwan must be a final wake-up call for Washington. Freedom-loving nations must now team up to contain PRC aggression.