Xi Jinping defends zero-Covid as party meeting opens

- colombogazette.com

China’s President Xi Jinping has been defending his controversial zero-Covid strategy as a historic Communist Party congress kicks off in Beijing.

In a break in decades-long tradition, delegates are likely to hand Mr Xi a third term as party chief.

Zero-Covid was an “all out people’s war to stop the spread of the virus”, he said.

The policy has saved lives, but also exacted a punishing toll on the Chinese people and economy.

There is increasing public fatigue over lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Beijing has come under strict security measures ahead of the congress, sparking frustration in the city with a rare and dramatic public protest on Thursday criticising Mr Xi and zero Covid.

Mr Xi also addressed the issue of Taiwan – which China claims as part of its territory. Self-governing Taiwan sees itself as distinct from the mainland.

Speaking slowly and deliberately, he said Beijing would “never promise to renounce the use of force” and that “complete reunification of our country must and will be realised”, prompting sustained applause from delegates.

On Hong Kong, Mr Xi said Beijing had exerted control there, turning the situation from “chaos to governance”. Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law on the territory after pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019.

Mr Xi also made reference to divisions within China’s political establishment, saying his rule had “removed serious hidden dangers in the party”.

Since reaching top office, he has overseen a wide-reaching corruption crackdown extending to the highest echelons of the party. But critics have portrayed it as a political purge.

Mr Xi’s speech dominates the first day of the congress – the choice of words has been workshopped for months and analysts will be poring over it for any signs of policy shifts.

A third term as leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will pave the way for him to become the most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

About 2,300 delegates are meeting to elect party leaders and debate key policies.

Over the course of the congress, delegates are also expected to elect various leaders including the Politburo Standing Committee – China’s equivalent of a presidential cabinet – who will present themselves to waiting media during the congress.

In the past, the twice-a-decade congress was seen as a chance for leaders to promote their supporters, as they vied to increase the power of their factions within the party.

But observers say these days there appears to be only one faction at the 20th Party Congress – that of Mr Xi.

In a clear sign of this consolidation of power, top Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders released a communiqué days earlier endorsing him as “the core” of the party and leadership. They also called for the party to unite even more closely behind him.

Mr Xi currently holds the three most powerful positions in China – general secretary of the CCP, chairman of the country’s armed forces and president. He is expected to renew his term for the first two titles at the congress.

The CCP does not set any term limits. But no leader besides Mao, the founder of communist China, has ever served a third term.

The presidency also used to have a two-term limit in the country’s constitution, put in place by reformer Deng Xiaoping to prevent the rise of a Mao-like figure.

But Mr Xi has managed to eliminate this requirement: in 2018 China’s rubber-stamp parliament abolished the rule, effectively allowing him to remain president for as long as he likes.

Since taking power in 2012, Mr Xi has led China on a path that has been equal parts ambitious and authoritarian.

He has pushed for “a great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”, which saw him pursuing economic reform, reducing pollution and alleviating poverty. (BBC)

You may also like

- adaderana.lk

Holders of Sri Lanka s international sovereign bonds face a 20% principal haircut in the country s debt restructuring as well as maturity extensions and a reduction in coupons, according to a Barclays report.

- adaderana.lk

Lanak Sathosa says it has slashed the prices of ten essential food items with the intention of providing further relief to the people.

- adaderana.lk

The government has decided to proceed with the Work Bank-funded project to modernize the Meteorology Department, Disaster Management Centre (DMC) and National Building Research Organization (NBRO), Defence State Minister Premitha Bandaran Tennakoon says.

- onlanka.com

Sri Lanka’s Excise Department has arrested two police officers for selling 2 kilograms of Kerala cannabis.The post Two Sri Lankan Police officers arrested with 2kg of Kerala cannabis appeared first on Sri Lanka News - Latest Breaking News in Sri Lanka - ONLANKA News.

- onlanka.com

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout will help bring Sri Lanka’s depleted foreign exchange reserve to pre-crisis levels in four years, said the country’s central bank governor.The post With IMF bailout, Sri Lanka will have healthy dollar reserves in 4 years – Central Bank Governor appeared first on Sri Lanka News - Latest Breaking News in Sri Lanka - ONLANKA News.

- colombogazette.com

Gilgit ..., March 20 (ANI): The government of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), which is illegally occupied by Pakistan, said it will oppose any undemocratic action taken by the federal government against its chief minister or other elected officials, reported Dawn. Syed Sohail Abbas, the region’s law minister, has refuted the federal minister’s accusations that GB Chief Minister […]

Entertainment:View All

Technology:View All

Local News

Local News

Sri Lanka News

@2022 - All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by Rev-Creations, Inc