China will never renounce the right to use force over Taiwan, says Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping made the comments in his opening speech at the ruling Communist Party's 20th party congress in Beijing.

October 16, 2022 09:49 am | Updated 06:41 pm IST - BEIJING

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening ceremony of the 20th National Congress of China’s Communist Party held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 16, 2022.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening ceremony of the 20th National Congress of China’s Communist Party held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 16, 2022. | Photo Credit: AP

China’s President Xi Jinping on October 16, 2022 kicked-off the 20th congress of China’s ruling Communist Party, a week-long event where he is widely expected to win a third leadership term and cement his place as the country’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong.

The gathering of roughly 2,300 delegates from around the country began in the vast Great Hall of the People on the west side of Tiananmen Square amid tight security and under blue skies after several smoggy days in the Chinese capital.

Also read: Key moments from Xi's address to China's Communist Party Congress

During his opening comments, Mr. Xi vowed China would "never commit to abandoning the use of force" when it comes to the issue of Taiwan.

"Resolving the Taiwan issue is a matter for Chinese people themselves, and 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," Mr. Xi said.

Also read: U.S. steps up diplomatic efforts with China on Taiwan, Russia

China sees self-ruled, democratic Taiwan as part of its territory, to be reclaimed one day by military intervention if necessary.

"The historical wheels of national reunification and national rejuvenation are rolling forward," Mr. Xi added. "Reunification of the motherland must be achieved and will be achieved."

Also read: In a first, India refers to ‘militarisation’ of Taiwan Strait by China

Mr. Xi condemned "separatism and interference" on the matter.

He also hailed Hong Kong's transition from "chaos to governance", after the imposition of a national security law in 2020 that has quashed dissent in the once outspoken city.

"The situation in Hong Kong has achieved a major transition from chaos to governance," he said.

Accelerate building of world-class military, strong strategic deterrent

China will accelerate the building of a world-class military and strengthen its ability to build a strategic deterrent capability, Mr. Xi Jinping said.

China must adhere to the party’s absolute leadership of the military, Mr. Xi said in a speech before some 2,300 delegates at the Great Hall of the People.

Xi vows to prioritise environment

Mr. Xi that China will give priority to protecting the environment and promoting green consumption, production and lifestyles, saying the protection of nature was essential to building a modern socialist country.

In a speech opening the twice-a-decade ruling Communist Party Congress, Mr. Xi said China had made progress in tackling environmental problems and vowed to “basically eliminate” heavy air and water pollution while bringing soil contamination under control.

He vowed to continue an “energy revolution” and promote the clean use of coal. 

China must ensure Hong Kong is ruled by patriots

China must ensure Hong Kong is ruled by patriots and China will support Hong Kong in integrating with the mainland, Mr. Xi said at the opening of the once-in-five-year Communist Party congress in Beijing.

“One country, two systems” is the best system for Hong Kong and must be adhered to in the long run, Xi said in a speech to around 2,300 delegates at the Great Hall of the People. 

China will promote common prosperity, improve wealth distribution

Mr. Xi said that China will solidly promote common prosperity, improve the system of wealth distribution and accelerate the development of a housing system based on both home rental and purchases.

China will “increase the income of low income-earners, expand the middle-income class, regulate the order of income distribution and regulate the mechanism of wealth accumulation,” Xi said at the opening of the once-in-five-year Communist Party Congress in Beijing.

Mr. Xi said China should step up building a housing system where people can buy and rent homes supplied by various entities and through multiple channels. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded a speech opening the once-in-five-year Communist Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

China opposes 'Cold War mentality' in global politics

Mr. Xi said Beijing opposed a "Cold War mentality" in international diplomacy, though made no mention of frayed relations with the United States.

"China... resolutely opposes all forms of hegemony and power politics, opposes the Cold War mentality, opposes interfering in other countries' domestic politics, opposes double standards," Mr. Xi told Communist Party delegates at the Great Hall of the People, claiming Beijing "will never seek hegemony and will never engage in expansion".

(With inputs from AFP)

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