Xi calls for a strong military and technological sufficiency in the face of US hostility
The looming world demands a strong army and technological self-sufficiency. Chinese President Xi Jinping has clarified this, without superfluous mentions of the United States. He had already warned last week, at the opening of the National People's Assembly, that the coalition led by Washington in the West to bridle the rise of China posed “unprecedented challenges.”
“We must turn the Popular Liberation Army into a great wall of steel that protects sovereignty, security and the national interests & rdquor;, Xi said in front of the almost 3,000 delegates at the Great Hall of the People . The latent threats in an increasingly volatile world and the ways to combat them have taken up the bulk of the 15 minutesof speech. The current strength, he has emphasized, separates this China from the one that suffered in China. the “bullying of the Western powers” in not so distant times. The Communist Party, he added, “cleaned up the that national humiliation” and now the Chinese are “masters of their destiny”.
Allusions to that century and a half that brought together European colonialism are common. >and Japanese imperialism. Those painful times linger in the collective memory and fuel nationalism because many see their current riposte in US hostility. Behind Xi's speech are the military alliances that Washington is emphasizing in China's backyard and the restrictions on the purchase of chips and other technological goods. Beijing knows that four decades are over of peaceful growth and understands tensions with the United States as inevitable and structural.
The assembly approved the resolution. this week an increase in the military budget of 7.2%. It allows for different readings: it is barely a tenth higher than that of last year but the highest in the last five years. The increase comes in a context of frequent friction with Taiwan and the US harassment in the South China Sea. “Security is the foundation of development, and stability is the requirement of prosperity,” Xi said.
Taiwan, brief and predictable
The chapter Taiwanese, non-negotiable in official discourse and scrutinized with entomological attentionby the media, has been as brief as predictable. Promotion of peaceful development, opposition to independence forces, advances in the reunification process… All in a sweetened tone, very far from past attacks, to underline the turn in politics. Xi has even avoided the traditional allusion to the use of force as a last resort that ended up in the headlines of the Western press as a corollary of an imminent threat.
His intervention has closed the annual session of the legislature that has served to seal the decisions made in the fall party congress. Xi has formalized his third term as president and Li Qiang has been appointed prime minister. This is expected to revive the national economy after the paltry growth of 3% last year. For this, Beijing has set a target of 5% , the humblest of the last decades. In her morning speech, she has made an effort to instill confidence in a population that is reluctant to spend. The economy, she has said, has stabilized since the end of the zero covid policy. “During a period of the past year there was an incorrect opinion about the development of the private economy that worried many people. to businessmen… The context will improve and it will improve your and there will be more space for the private sector,” he said. Li yes who has quoted the United States in a constructive tone. “China and the United States must cooperate. If they work together, they have a lot to gain. The fence and pressure do not provide advantages to anyone,” he said.
He has offered no more surprises strong> the week that the new term of Yi Gang as governor of theCentral Bank of China. No analyst was betting on him: he had left the Committee for the first time. Central in congress, he has reached unofficial retirement age and is not part of the hard core of Xi's loyalists. The decade that passed His studies in the United States, first pursuing a doctorate and later as a university professor, make him an exception in the landscape of Chinese high politics. It is one of the most brilliant “sea turtles”, as Chinese returnees are known from studying abroad. His service record is not without merit. Last year it kept inflation at 2% when the West reached its highest levels in 40 years. His re-election is seen as a sure bet at a time when the Chinese economy is not growing. for experiments