China on Thursday finished what’s known as the “Two Sessions,” a series of annual political meetings where Chinese officials discussed their plans to compete and perhaps surpass the United States. The event was held to mark the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.
The “Two Sessions” are the People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
According to a Los Angeles Times report about the event, delegates at the session “gave their rubber-stamp approval to the Communist regime’s plans to wield greater power over Hong Kong‘s government, indoctrinate ethnic minorities through political and Mandarin-language instruction, and surpass the U.S. in technology.”
“China can already view the world on an equal level,” Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly said at the Two Sessions event. “This came from self-confidence in our path, self-confidence in our theories, self-confidence in our system, self-confidence in our culture… our national system can concentrate force to do big things.”
“Cultural identity is the deepest form of identity. It is also the root and soul of ethnic unity and harmony,” Xi also said, per the newspaper. There was also denial that the Chinese regime had oppressed ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.
Others at the conference touted China’s rise, including its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. And the conference also passed a new resolution related to Hong Kong, as the National People’s Congress overhauled Hong Kong’s election system, so that the territory’s chief executive will be chosen by a special committee in which only “patriots”—those loyal to the Chinese government—may participate.
“For China, 2021 will be a year of epoch-making significance,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the press at the Two Sessions, per the Los Angeles Times. “It has been proven that the party’s leadership is the biggest political advantage of China’s diplomacy and the fundamental safeguard for continued victory.”
The event also included a draft for China’s next five-year plan, which will include annualized 7 percent increases in research and development, on such technologies as “artificial intelligence, quantum computing, integrated circuits and aerospace.”
The BBC’s writeup of the conference looked at some of the topics discussed, which included gender roles in China, including a proposal to drop the age of marriage to eighteen for both men and women.
“China’s declining marriage and birth rate has been a major concern of the government in recent years,” the BBC report said. “Many young Chinese women are increasingly seeking to further their careers, but being born under China’s now-abolished one child policy means they now face being sole carers for two elderly relatives, as well as increased pressure to have children.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver. Image: Reuters.