02 October 2019
President Xi Jinping stood in front of Tiananmen Square yesterday morning and called for national unity, while pledging to uphold its “one country, two systems” formula.
But just hours later, an 18-year-old protester was shot in Hong Kong after demonstrators clashed with police, marring what was to have been a day of grand celebrations for the nation’s 70th anniversary.
Mr Xi has vowed to make China a “moderately prosperous society” by 2021, and for it to become a “fully developed, rich and powerful nation” by 2049. These two centennial goals – 2021 marks 100 years since the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, and 2049, the centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China – have been Mr Xi’s overarching vision since he took power in 2012.
Said China watcher Zi Yang, a senior analyst with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies‘ China Programme: “To foreign audiences, the celebration aims to project an image of a strong China that cannot be deterred from its goal of national rejuvenation.”
He added: “Internally, it shows the party’s leadership is indispensable to an independent and powerful China, and the people shall unite in supporting it.”
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 02/10/2019