Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to underscore his resolve to fight rampant corruption in a speech on Friday morning marking the Communist Party’s 95th anniversary, according to mainland observers. In response to public discontent over a slew of economic, social and environmental woes, Xi is also expected to stress the need for his hallmark “supply-side reforms” in another bid to rally support for structural changes in the country’s sluggish economy. Despite much-touted achievements in Xi’s sweeping crackdown on corrupt officials, which snared a long list of high-ranking “tigers” and lowly “flies”, Xi and his top anti-graft aide Wang Qishan have admitted that there is little room for complacency, given the scale of corruption within the party. Analysts warned that the party’s legitimacy was hanging on the success of the anti-graft drive, which Xi launched after taking office in late 2012. The party has reached a point where its legitimacy and more importantly, its very existence are at stake Professor Wang Yukai “The party has reached a point where its legitimacy and more importantly, its very existence are at stake,” said Professor Wang Yukai, from the Chinese Academy of Governance. Both Wang and academy colleague Professor Zhu Lijia, said the party was grappling with a more complex and challenging global and domestic environment compared with four years ago. “The world has changed a lot since Xi took office,” Zhu said, adding that the uphill battle to rein in corruption and cope with China’s slowing growth, compounded by growing international scepticism over the country’s rising clout, posed greater risks to the party’s rule. The world has changed a lot since Xi took office Professor Zhu Lijia “That’s why the party has rolled out one education campaign after another in a bid to seek unity among the more than 87 million party members and rally public support,” Zhu said. As with previous years, Beijing has unleashed a propaganda blitz ahead of the party’s anniversary. State media have published numerous articles over the past few weeks, bragging about the party’s achievements over the past nine decades and its ability to escape the dynastic cycle of rise and fall repeated throughout the ages. Citing Singapore as an example, party mouthpiece People’s Daily insisted in an article this week that the single-party system was fully equipped to tackle corruption and build a clean government. But analysts doubt the effectiveness of such top-down media campaigns. Legitimacy is the underlying theme of this year’s commemorations, analysts say, but it is a politically sensitive word and Xi may not utter it his speech. China’s top graft-buster breaks taboo by discussing Communist Party’s ‘legitimacy’ That’s despite Wang Qishan, head of the party’s anti-graft watchdog, breaking a long-standing taboo by openly discussing the issue last year. “The party’s legitimacy arises from history and is determined by popular support. It is the people’s choice,” he said. Beijing-based political analyst Zhang Lifan said Xi would try to use his speech to justify one-party rule and burnish his own achievements while tightening his grip on power in the lead-up to next year’s leadership reshuffle. “Xi may want to use the propaganda machine as well as his speech to disseminate his messages to the Chinese public that the party under his rule is capable of meeting all sorts of challenges both at home and abroad,” Zhang said. “But unfortunately, such distorted media campaigns, which rarely mention the [party’s] grave errors and countless man-made disasters, such as the Cultural Revolution and persistent power struggles, is too late to help ease widespread public dissatisfaction and disillusion.” Zhang also said Xi’s anti-graft drive and personnel changes over the past few days were largely warning shots to his opponents against political manoeuvring ahead of the party congress.