President Xi Jinping on Friday marked the 70th anniversary of China’s entry into the Korean War to fight against US troops by taking a jab at Washington as he condemned “unilateralism, protectionism and extreme egoism.”
The “War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea,” as the conflict is known in China, “let the world know that the Chinese people are now organized and aren’t to be trifled with,” Xi said during a Beijing ceremony, quoting Mao Zedong’s remarks at a 1953 leadership meeting.
“Once provoked, things will get ugly,” Xi added, drawing loud applause from the masses while calling for resolve in combating threats to China’s interests posed by foreign aggressors, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“In today’s world, the pursuit of unilateralism, protectionism and extreme egoism leads nowhere,” he said, according to comments released by the official Xinhua News Agency.
“Arrogance, always doing as one pleases, acts of hegemony, overbearance or bullying will lead nowhere,” Xi added.
The milestone comes amid plummeting relations between Beijing and Washington as the countries feud over trade, human rights, allegations of spying and Chinese policies regarding Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea.
China — which is North Korea’s most important diplomatic ally and trading partner — has pushed back at American efforts to bring economic pressure on Pyongyang to prompt it to end its nuclear weapons and missile programs.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian reinforced the importance of the anniversary, saying the war’s outcome proved that “justice will prevail and peaceful development is an irresistible historical trend.”
“The great victory … is of great and far-reaching significance to China and the world,” Zhao said during a briefing.
Although Xi didn’t directly refer to Washington, his speech was clearly about standing up to the US, John Delury, a professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University in Seoul, told the Wall Street Journal.
“The message is that we’ve done this before and we can do it again—if anything we can do it better now, we’re much stronger,” he said.
Deng Yuwen, a former deputy editor at the Study Times, a paper published by Beijing’s Central Party School, which trains the country’s political elite, saif Xi’s “goal is to unify the nation to resist the US.”
“Backwardness begets being bullied, and only through development can we strengthen ourselves,” Xi said Friday. “Without a strong military, there can be no strong motherland.”
He added that China will “never allow any person or any force to violate and split the motherland’s sacred territory. Once such severe circumstances occur, the Chinese people shall deliver a head-on blow.”
The Korean War, which ended in a bloody stalemate, was the first and so far only time Chinese and American forces engaged in large-scale direct combat.
According to Beijing, more than 197,000 Chinese troops died during the war, which saw the US-led United Nations coalition pushed back to the 38th parallel after China weighed in on the side of North Korea’s communist army.
With Post wires
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