Chinese President Xi Jinping struck a defiant tone during a major address celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing on Thursday, with the leader telling the audience that the Asian nation has embarked on “irreversible historical course.”

What did Xi Jinping say?

The era of China “being slaughtered and bullied is gone forever,” Xi said during the speech in Tiananmen Square.

“Anyone who dares try to do that will have their heads bashed bloody against the Great Wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people,” the Chinese leader added to roaring applause.

Xi said the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has entered an irreversible historical course.”

He credited the CCP with lifting millions of Chinese out of poverty said it has built a “moderately prosperous society” during its 100-year reign.

“The people of China are not only good at destroying the old world, they have also created a new world,” Xi said. “Only socialism can save China.”

In regards to the country’s security, Xi said the country “must accelerate the modernization of national defense and the armed forces.”

On Taiwan, Xi said he wants to achieve “complete reunification” of the country and “smash” any efforts to grant the island independence from the mainland.

How did the ceremony celebrate the CPP’s founding?

In addition to a major address from Xi, the Tiananmen Square ceremony commemorated the CCP’s founding with thousands of singers and a marching band, who performed patriotic songs.

One of the songs performed was titled “Without the Communist Party, There Would Be No New China.”

Invitees to the event waved CCP flags and cheered the performers.

A group of helicopters and jets conducted a flyby over the square, with the aircraft spelling “100” in the sky with a CCP flag trailing behind.

At least 95 million CCP members, government says

Government data released this week showed there are at least 95 million members of the CCP in China.

CCP Chairman Mao Zedong established the People’s Republic of China in 1949 amid a civil war.

Xi Jinping has become the country’s most powerful leader since Mao, and has added his name to the country’s constitution.

Xi has launched an anti-corruption campaign and boosted the country’s global influence through the Belt and Road Initiative development strategy.

Xi has silenced dissent domestically, and taken bold military actions in the South China Sea and towards Taiwan. He has been criticized by the western countries for putting members of the Muslim Uyghur minority into reeducation camps.

Xi has also been criticized for cracking down on dissidents in Hong Kong, due to a controversial security law that was passed last year.

Hong Kong acting chief executive John Lee praised the law on Thursday during a ceremony marking the former British territory’s return to Chinese rule in 1997.

Lee said the sweeping national security legislation had made “Hong Kong society change from chaos to order.”

This article was originally published on Deutsche Welle. Read the original article here.

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TNL Editor: Bryan Chou (@thenewslensintl)

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