China’s Xi Jinping: “We must also carry out a self-examination of our socialist system”

Xi Jinping’s rule will be extended with more authoritarianism at home and tension abroad to come, Beijing said on Wednesday.

“In the face of continued regional and domestic turbulence, the rule of the Chinese Communist Party will remain unchanged and will be extended under the leadership of Xi Jinping,” said Wang Yi, a spokesman for the State Council.

The remarks came as China announced a crackdown on Hong Kong protesters that Beijing has long described as an illegal occupation by foreign forces.

A senior Hong Kong police official said on Tuesday that officers had arrested more than 1,300 people in what he called a successful operation against the mostly young protesters, who have occupied a downtown shopping area.

The Hong Kong protests have largely failed to draw support from the mainland Chinese public.

More moderate protests in other cities across the region over the past year have seen little change since a political liberalisation programme was rolled back and the financial system was returned to a “one country, two systems” policy.

“It is impossible to solve the difficult problems facing our country except by expanding and deepening the socialist market economy,” Wang said at a conference in Chengdu, the capital of southwest China’s Sichuan province.

“For this reason,” it continued, “it is necessary to maintain the socialist market economy, strengthen people’s democratic participation, and build a socialist international order.”

“No one will question the need for our country to expand market governance and increase political and civic participation — including allowing the peaceful development and expression of political opinions,” he added.

China’s Xi takes a break from a media tour at Hong Kong’s Hong Kong International Airport on July 6, 2016. (China Daily via Getty Images)

“But we must also carry out a self-examination of our socialist system.”

China has recently expressed concern at the rise of the United States as its power and influence grows, and of Russia and other states with which it has competing claims.

China’s foreign ministry had earlier on Wednesday called on China and the United States to exercise “maximum restraint” to ease tensions.

Meanwhile, the Chinese foreign ministry said North Korea had issued a strong warning of war to the US and South Korea.

North Korea on Wednesday threatened to fire missiles towards Guam and threatened a “massive and powerful nuclear strike”.


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