Six key points from Xi Jinping’s speech wrapping up China’s national congress

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 March, 2018, 12:46pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 March, 2018, 9:49pm

China’s President Xi Jinping addressed the National People’s Congress on Tuesday as it ended its annual session in Beijing.

The meetings have seen Xi cement his grip on power, with a limit on presidential terms in office scrapped and major changes made among the government’s top leadership.

Here are the key points Xi made during his remarks at the Great Hall of the People:

1. Taiwan

Xi warned that forces leaning towards independence in Taiwan or “any efforts to divide the nation would be predestined to fail”.

“Every inch of the territory of our great nation cannot be separated from China,” he told delegates in the hall. Any attempts at separatism would “face the punishment of history”, he said.

Xi added that the government would still promote peaceful ties with Taiwan and expand economic cooperation and cultural exchanges with the island. 

2. Hong Kong 

Xi called on people in Hong Kong to strengthen their sense of belonging to the nation and patriotic feeling. He reiterated that the central government would comprehensively and correctly implement “one country, two systems” to oversee the running of the city.

Xi Jinping vows to strengthen national identity and patriotism in Hong Kong and Macau

3. Global role

China will never adopt expansionist policies and will continue to safeguard international fairness and justice, said Xi.

China’s rise posed no threat to the world, he added. 

“Only those who are used to threatening others will see others as a threat to them,” said Xi, without specifying which country he was referring to.

The president said China would keep providing unselfish help to war-torn nations, as well as to people in developing countries suffering from hunger, unrest or poverty.

“The Chinese people’s sincere wish and practical action to contribute to the peace and development of humanity should not be misinterpreted, nor should it be distorted,” Xi said. 

4. Domestic politics

The president stressed the paramount role of the Communist Party in governing China, urging its 1.3 billion people to rally behind it.

China strengthens its military leadership for war on corruption

He also reiterated that China would continue its campaign to “root out” all corruption and purify the party’s ranks.

5. Social policy 

Xi said China would develop into a culturally strong country and highlighted his pledges to eradicate poverty, care for the sick and elderly, and to create a green and environmentally-friendly economy. 

China would also continue to actively take part in the reform of global governance and contribute a Chinese approach for a safer, more inclusive and cleaner world, he said.

6. Defence

Xi said China should uphold the Communist Party’s absolute leadership over the armed forces amid its goal of building a strong army.

“[China] should constantly push forward with building the army by political means, reforms, science and technology, as well as accelerating the formation of a … world-class fighting force in the new era,” he said.