TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On April 30 in Beijing, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Xi Jinping addressed a crowd of university students and workers at the Great Hall of the People exhorting them to obey the dictates of the CCP, and to “love” the party and socialism.
In an effort to stoke nationalist sentiment and support for the communist party among the youth, Xi Jinping conflates Chinese identity with the ideology of communism and “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
"The essence of patriotism is to combine one's love for the country with love for the party and socialism," said Xi Jinping to the gathered crowd of students, workers, soldiers, and local party officials.
Xi also condemned those who “betray the motherland” as well as those who are not patriotic in support of China as a communist country.
"It's very shameful if a person isn't patriotic or even deceives or betrays the motherland. There is no place for such a person to stand anywhere," said the autocratic ruler to his captive audience.
AFP reports that the talk was part of events planned this week to commemorate the 100th anniversary of China’s May Fourth Movement, a series of student protests which challenged the Chinese government’s weak response to the Treaty of Versailles.
As China faces difficulties in its trade war with the U.S., and simmering unrest in areas like Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, the CCP has become more antagonistic towards neighboring countries within the region, including Taiwan and others with conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea.
As the communist party faces an uncertain future, Xi Jinping hopes to maintain the loyalty of the China’s youth, declaring "Chinese youth in the new era shall listen to the words of the party and follow the steps of the party."