Chinese President Xi Jinping called for the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” and for his country to take its “due place in the world,” in a nationalistic speech on Tuesday at the closing of the annual parliamentary session.
“The Chinese people have been indomitable and persistent,” Xi told the almost 3,000 delegates in the cavernous Great Hall of the People in Beijing. “We are resolved to fight the bloody battle against our enemies.”
“We have the strong capability to take our due place in the world,” he said.
Xi, 64, used the two-week session to consolidate his position, with the rubber-stamp legislature amending the constitution to remove presidential term limits, effectively paving the way for him to rule indefinitely.
He was also unanimously elected to his second term as president, installed his closest aide as vice president and stacked key cabinet positions with his loyalists.
Xi warned against separatist movements and said China, which is currently involved in territorial disputes with its neighbours in the South and East China Seas, would safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“Not a single inch of our land will be and can be ceded,” he said.
On the topic of self-ruling Taiwan, which Beijing sees as a breakaway province, Xi said that efforts to separate it from the Chinese nation were doomed to fail.
The parliament on Tuesday also passed a law to regulate a new, powerful anti-graft agency that will extend Xi’s sweeping anti-corruption campaign from Communist Party members to all civil servants.
The law passed with 2,914 votes for, 28 votes against and 18 abstentions.
The National Supervision Commission will rank alongside the central government and above the judiciary. It will operate independently of the courts to combat corruption, malfeasance or any lax implementation of political goals by civil servants.
The agency will be able to interrogate and detain suspects for up to six months without a judge’s permission.
Its establishment, which was enshrined earlier this month in the country’s constitution, has raised concerns that the agency will be used as a tool to persecute Xi’s political rivals.
The rubber-stamp parliament also approved a budget that will see an 8.1 per cent increase in the national defence budget.
Premier Li Keqiang’s annual work report also passed with 2,956 votes in favour, three votes against and three abstentions.