Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to reunify China and Taiwan Thursday during the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
July 1 (UPI) -- Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned Beijing's enemies with a fiery speech Thursday on the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party in Tiananmen Square, where he greeted a crowd of 70,000 people and pledged to defeat any movement toward Taiwan's independence.
Xi, wearing a Mao suit similar to the attire worn by the former leader in the portrait in Tiananmen, said countries that threaten China would be met with violent consequences.
"The Chinese people will never allow any foreign forces to bully, coerce and enslave us," said Xi, according to reports. "Whoever attempts to do that, will surely crack their heads and spill blood on the steel Great Wall built with the blood and flesh of 1.4 billion Chinese."
Xi's hourlong speech was devoted to highlighting China's economic progress in recent decades, which he attributed to the leadership of the Communist Party.
"Through the struggle of the Party and the peoples of China, we have realized the first 100-year goal of a moderately prosperous society," the Chinese leader said.
The Party has "historically solved the problem of absolute poverty and is vigorously pushing towards the second 100-year goal of building a modernized and powerful socialist country."
The Chinese leader, who has admonished Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen against moves that defy Beijing's one-China policy, said he stands by an "unshakable commitment" to unify China and Taiwan.
"Resolving the Taiwan problem and realizing national reunification is the historical mission of the CCP and the aspiration of the Chinese nation," Xi said Thursday.
Aggressive rhetoric from Beijing has raised concerns in Washington, where top Pentagon officials have said China wants the capability to take Taiwan by 2027.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told Congress in June China wants the ability to invade and hold Taiwan within the next six years.
"It's a capability, not an intent to attack or seize. My assessment is an operational assessment," Milley had said.
But "intent is something that could change quickly," he told Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., during the hearing, according to the U.S. Naval Institute.