Monday February 19, 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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Nanking Massacre’s haunting still afresh, even after 80 years

It was the second Sino-Japanese War, which started in 1937 and resulted in a large number of deaths at the hands of the Japanese army.

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Nanking massacre
Nanking Massacre is considered a blot on the Japanese army. Wikimedia commons

NEW DELHI: On December 13, Chinese marked the 80th anniversary of the Nanking massacre. This day is considered as a very unfortunate knot between the relationship of Japan and China.

The event was attended by the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Nanking city. It was the second time that Chinese president attended the event, since first national memorial day for the massacre in 2014. But surprisingly, Jinping didn’t deliver any speech.

Generally, Jinping leaves no chance to address his people on such occasions. But this time, he refrained himself from making any comment. This act may be due to the ongoing cordial relationship between China and Japan, which maybe get into turmoil due to any political
statement.

The Japanese supreme, Shinzo Abe, and Xi Jinping met last month on the sidelines of a regional summit in Vietnam. Both of them greeted each other well and looked comfortable exchanging a few words.

It was the second Sino-Japanese War, which started in 1937 and resulted in a large number of deaths at the hands of the Japanese army. The people involved in the massacre included Chinese war prisoners and civilians.

Nanking cty
Chinese war prisoners and civilians felt the burnt of massacre

The Japanese impounded the Nanking city on December 13. 1937 and the rest is history. The atrocities of the Japanese army, accompanied by brutal methods led to large-scale uncalled death.

As far as the death toll of the Nanking Massacre incident is concerned, both the nations share a different point of views. Chinese historians claim the figure of more than three lakhs. Meanwhile, Japan counts the number ranging from few thousands to around two lakhs. But some conservative Japanese scholars even deny the very act of massacre even.

With the agenda of peace and regional balance in mind, both the nation will try to bury the past ghost of Nanking city in the coming years. Such incidents are really very hard to fade away from the memories of people of any nation.

To aim for the global presence, China will definitely try to mend its relations with its neighbors and by digging into such historical events will not help towards it.