Chinese President Xi Jinping said the Communist Party needed new heroes to carry it into its second century, as he celebrated more than two dozen officials who had contributed to its longevity.
Xi spoke as part of an event Tuesday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, where he handed out red-and-gold medals adorned with the party’s hammer-and-sickle emblem. He said the recipients — including people who had promoted Xi’s signature poverty alleviation campaign and a soldier who died in last year’s border conflict with India — had done things that could be replicated by others.
“We must fight unrelentingly and keep on fighting,” Xi said. “In the course of building a modern socialist society, in an all round way, we must march forward toward the second centenary goal and the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”
The president, who has emphasized rooting out corruption during his almost decade in power, said officials “must be aim to be clean people and do clean deeds.” “We must devote ourselves wholeheartedly to public duties and maintain the political nature of the party to be clean,” Xi said.
The address is one of several events this week planned to mark the party’s founding in 1921 in Shanghai by a handful of revolutionaries. Xi, Premier Li Keqiang and other senior figures attended a performance titled “The Great Journey” on Monday evening in the National Stadium with about 20,000 people attending, Xinhua reported. The audience sang “Without the Communist Party, There Would Be No New China” after the show.
The anniversary will not only highlight the Communist Party’s confidence after a 100 years but also the dominance of Xi, who has led it for almost a decade. While China’s rise is facing increasing resistance from the U.S. and its allies, Xi remains firmly in control of domestic politics ahead of a party congress next year expected to give him a third term.
The 29 award recipients spanned a variety of backgrounds, including teachers, welders, composers and actors. Several people from China’s disputed frontiers were also honored, from Tibet to the South China Sea to a village official from the Uyghur ethnic minority group credited with taking a “clear-cut stand against national separation.”
Xi will make an important speech at an event Thursday, the Ministry of National Defense said last week. Warplanes and helicopters have been seen flying in formations above Beijing spelling out “100” and “71” for July 1, the state-run Global Times reported, citing an aerospace publication.