BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday that “blackmail, blockades and pressure lead nowhere” and that “China will never cower from threats or be subdued,” in a veiled warning to the United States and its current policy of attacking the country on various fronts.
“China will never allow any force to violate or sever its sacred territory,” Xi said in a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival in North Korea of Chinese volunteers who fought in the War of Korea (1950-1953) to “resist American aggression.”
The Chinese president, without specifically citing Washington or President Donald Trump, denounced “unilateralism, protectionism and extreme selfishness” as well as “arrogant, hegemonic and harassing acts, which lead nowhere.”
“You have to speak to the invaders in the language they know,” he said, referring to the war waged 70 years ago, adding that “a war must be waged to deter invasion and violence must be met with violence. A victory is needed to win peace and respect,” he said.
In a strong nationalist speech, Xi called for “moving faster” in the modernization of his armed forces as well as “joining the formidable force that unites us all Chinese,” and stressed that “if something serious happens, we will take care of it with head high.”
“China will never flinch from threats or be subdued. We Chinese are firm and confident, and we look to the future with the expectation of rejuvenating this nation,” Xi said, highlighting the “courage of a country that does not fear death regardless of the circumstances.”
The statements come a day after a possible US arms sale to Taiwan – an island Beijing claims as its own – valued at $1.8 billion and to which China is directly opposed.
The Chinese president said 70 years ago, Chinese troops – about 197,000 died on the battlefield, he said – and North Koreans defeated their rivals and “shattered the myth of the invincibility of the US Army.”
“We smashed the plan of the aggressors. After the victory, the Chinese were finally able to remove the label of being ‘the sick man of East Asia.’ We showed the world the courage of our armed forces to fight and to win,” Xi added.
The president assured China’s participation in that war showed its “commitment” to safeguard world peace and appealed to the Chinese to “promote the spirit of that contest.”
He also said the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) should be “even stronger,” and that the country has a need to “keep the right path to move forward.”
At the same time, he defended that his country “does not seek expansion” and that “China is prepared to work with the world.”
“Peaceful development and mutually beneficial cooperation remain the right path,” he said.
Although Xi did not directly mention the United States, his speech was marked by growing tensions between the two major world powers, whose relationship has continued to worsen in recent years, especially in recent months.
The commercial and technological war or the diplomatic and ideological struggle have been joined by greater tensions on behalf of Taiwan or in the South China Sea, where both parties accuse each other of militarizing the area.