China celebrated the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Thursday, recognizing 100 years since the party’s founding in July 1921. Marked by parades and rocket displays, the day was also met with an hour-long address by CCP Chairman Xi Jinping.
While speaking to thousands of attendees in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, the site of the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations that ended in the killing and arrests of thousands of protestors, Xi proclaimed the greatness of the Chinese people, while also warning foreign powers that his country will not be “bullied” into submission.
“No one should underestimate the great resolve, the strong will, and the extraordinary ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity!” he said. “Chinese people will never allow foreign bullying, oppressing, or subjugating. 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.”
During his remarks, Xi also took the time to address the Taiwan issue, pledging that there will be complete “reunification” and vowing to “smash” any attempts by the island nation to declare formal independence.
“Solving the Taiwan question and realising the complete reunification of the motherland are the unswerving historical tasks of the Chinese Communist Party and the common aspiration of all Chinese people,” he stated. “All sons and daughters of China, including compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must work together and move forward in solidarity, resolutely smashing any ‘Taiwan independence’ plots.”
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council quickly responded to the threat, stating that the CCP’s “historical decision-making errors and persistent harmful actions have caused serious threats to regional security.”
Under the rule of Mao Zedong, the CCP officially took control of China in 1949, dubbing the new communist government “The People’s Republic of China (PRC).” Over the course of the 20th century, the communist regime has been complicit in the slaughter of tens of millions of people throughout China and East Asia.
In 1950, China launched an invasion of Tibet, in an attempt to annex the neighboring country. Following nearly a decade of occupation by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the conflict ultimately led to the Tibet Uprising of 1959, in which tens of thousands of men, women, and children were killed.
In 1958, Mao Zedong implemented his “Great Leap Forward” campaign, a series of policies that sought to collectivize China’s agricultural sector. According to The Heritage Foundation, the program represented “a deadly combination of lies about grain production, disastrous farming methods, and misdistribution of food” that “produced the worse famine in human history.” From 1959-1961, an estimated 30-40 million Chinese citizens died as a result.
By the end of his reign in 1976, it is estimated that Mao was responsible for the death of approximately 65 million Chinese civilians.