Xi hails Hong Kong victory at mainly closed CCP ‘congress’; Public protests suppressed

by WorldTribune Staff, October 17, 2022

In a major address, Xi Jinping on Sunday hailed his brutal crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and pledged he would never renounce the use of force to take control of Taiwan.

In a 100-minute address, significantly  shorter than his more than 3-hour speech at the previous Chinese Communist Party Congress in 2017, Xi praised the new national security law Beijing imposed on Hong Kong which effectively criminalized dissent and squashed civil liberties.

Xi Jinping: ‘Complete reunification of our country must be realized.’ / Video Image

Related: 25 years later, Hong Kong has lost its freedom and China is still communist, June 25, 2022

Xi is expected to secure an unprecedented third term at the helm of the communist regime which would give him Mao-like powers and status.

His address marked the start of a week-long secret conclave over which Chinese citizens have absolutely no voice.

A Central Committee of nearly 380 members will choose the usually 25-member Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee led by the general secretary, a position currently held by Xi. There have been rumors and speculation about challenges to Xi, but having purged and marginalized most of his significant rivals, Xi’s position is seen as unassailable.

Earlier, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) proved again that it wrote the book on how to suppress a population.

On Thursday, two days before the 20th CCP Congress began, police in Beijing put down a rare public protest against Chinese leader Xi Jinping as communist officials stepped up Internet censorship.

According to videos which briefly made it past the censors, two banners were unfurled over a highway bridge, with one stating in Chinese characters, “Depose the Traitorous Dictator Xi Jinping”.

A second banner suggested the protest was a response to Xi’s highly restrictive “zero-COVID” policies, which have led to forced quarantines and lockdowns in major cities across the country. The banner stated: “We Don’t Want Nucleic Acid Tests, We Want Food; We Want Freedom, Not Lockdowns. We Want Votes, Not Leaders; We Want Dignity, Not Lies; We are Citizens, not Slaves.”

Related: Activist whose speech precipitated Hong Kong showdown arrested before CPAC event in Japan, August 31, 2019

Police quickly swooped in and removed the banners.

“Public protests are very rare in China as the government has made any opposition to the Chinese Communist Party and its leaders a crime punishable by imprisonment. The government also has installed a high-technology surveillance system capable of identifying faces in crowds and comparing them with a database,” Washington Times security correspondent Bill Gertz noted.

The last major protests in China took place in June 1989, when thousands of pro-democracy supporters camped out in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and were attacked by Chinese military forces using tanks and armored vehicles and troops with automatic weapons. Estimates on the total number killed range from hundreds to thousands.

“Resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese, a matter that must be resolved by the Chinese,” Xi said. “We will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but we will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary. Complete reunification of our country must be realized.”

Repeating a line from his visit to Hong Kong in July to mark the 25th anniversary of the former British colony’s handover, Xi hailed its “major transition from chaos to governance.”

“In the face of the turbulent and changing situation in Hong Kong, we have effectively exercised the power of comprehensive governance…and implemented the principle of ‘patriots ruling Hong Kong,’ ” Xi said.

Related: A ruthless but failed ruler, Xi Jinping set to assume unprecedented power, October 11, 2022

In aiming to extend the title of chairman, Xi “moves to cement himself as the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, the founding father of modern China,” the report said, adding that “the process is shrouded in secrecy and most of China’s 1.4 billion people have little say. Instead, some 2,296 top cadres picked by Xi’s office — among 96 million party members nationwide — will be tasked with greenlighting policy for the next five years.”

Xi was “widely expected to surround himself with loyalists in a bid to quash party factionalism that marked the terms of predecessors Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin,” Nikkei Asia reported.

Hu, 79, and the 105-year-old, Song Ping, the party’s oldest living member, were among the political elders at Sunday’s meeting. Jiang, 96, was not seen at the meeting, reportedly due to poor health.

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