Friday August 17, 2018
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Xi Jinping Lays Out New Vision for Communist China

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Xi Jinping Hall of the People in Beijing.
Security personnel stand guard after the opening session of China's 19th Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. VOA
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At the opening of a top-level political meeting Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a sober assessment of the challenges facing the world’s second-largest economy and its ruling Communist Party, laying out an ambitious vision that stretches forward to the middle of this century and pledging to build what he called a “modern socialist country” for a “new era.”

In a nearly three-and-a-half hour speech at the opening session of the 19th Party Congress, Xi spoke confidently about the country’s future and its opportunities. He also stressed that an increasingly strong Communist Party would continue to chart the path forward.

But such an effort is not without its challenges.

Xi has overseen a massive anti-corruption drive since rising to power five years ago, which has punished more than one million officials and led to the downfall of several high-ranking party members as well. He said the fight against corruption will always be in progress and is still the party’s biggest threat.

In his speech, he spoke frequently about the struggles China’s leadership faces, mentioning the word “struggle” more than two dozen times.

Growing demands 

Xi said the demands of China’s near 1.4 billion people are becoming increasingly broad.

“Not only have their material and cultural needs grown; demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security, and a better environment are also increasing each day,” he said.

But much like other topics Xi spoke about in his address, which left some struggling to stay awake and hungry as it pushed past noon, it was unclear how China’s ruling party would do just that.

Although the Chinese leader mentioned growing demands for democracy, he made it clear that no major political reforms were on the horizon.

“A political system cannot be criticized abstractly without consideration for social and political circumstances, and historical cultural traditions. It cannot look up to one man as the highest authority or blindly copy foreign political systems without regard for specific conditions,” Xi said.

Xi Xinping Hall of the People in Beijing.
Security personnel stands guard after the opening session of China’s 19th Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. VOA

Tighter controls 

Xi’s first five years as China’s top leader has been marked by an ever-increasing tightening of expression both online and in society. As Xi has sought to forward his vision for China, he has led a sweeping crackdown on civil society and locked up dissidents and lawyers.

He has shown little signs of loosening that grip. In fact, the 19th Party Congress is expected to further expand his power.

During the twice-a-decade gathering, China’s Communist Party rulers will reshuffle their leadership and install a new Politburo Standing Committee, a top group of leaders that will rule the country for the next five years. The body is expected to be filled with more members who are loyal to Xi and part of his faction within the party.

An attendee waits for passengers to board the Fuxing, China
An attendee waits for passengers to board the Fuxing, China’s latest high-speed train with a sticker reads “Incredible, my country” parked at Hongqiao Railway Station in Shanghai, China. VOA

Economic development 

On the economy, Xi said that China’s development is not a threat to any country and that it would continue to open its doors to foreign companies. He said that China would expand access to its services sector and deepen market-oriented reforms while strengthening state-owned companies.

In his speech, Xi tried to balance his emphasis on socialism and state control with promises of fair play towards foreign companies who can bring in the new and innovative technologies his government eagerly wants.

“All businesses registered in China will be treated equally,” he said while promising to “protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors.”(VOA)

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China says ties with India developing with ‘sound momentum’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in June in China

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Bilateral Ties between India and China. Twitter
  • Indo-China relations are on an upswing
  • Both countries are seeing new achievements in their political cooperation
  • China also talks about the importance of its ties with India

China on Thursday said its ties with India have been on an upswing recently and both sides have seen new achievements in political cooperation and various other fields. Beijing said it wants to work with New Delhi to sort out their disputes to keep the bilateral ties on the right track.

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The ties between the two countries are improving. VOA

“Recently, thanks to the concerted efforts from the two sides, China-India relations have been developing with a sound momentum. We have seen new achievements in political cooperation and various fields,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.

He was responding to questions about India’s attempt to improve ties with China, including shifting the event of the Dalai Lama, who Beijing calls a “splitist”, from New Delhi. “We attach importance to developing ties with India. We would like to work with India under the guidance of our two leaders, to maintain our exchanges at all levels, enhance our trust and properly manage our differences and ensure that bilateral relations could move forward along the right track,” Lu said.

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A sort of bonhomie seems to have returned between the two countries whose armies almost came to blows along their disputed border last year.

Both sides have stepped up bilateral talks, with a host of high profile visits lined-up between them. Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan was in India to discuss the yawning trade deficit between the two countries.

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Indian PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet soon again. Twitter

India’s Defence and External Affairs Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Sushma Swaraj are due to visit China in April. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in June in China. IANS