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Xi Jinping’s Controversial Speech Posted by on Jul 14, 2021 in Culture, History, News, Politics

As I mentioned in my last post, Beijing recently held a massive celebration for the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (中国共产党 zhōng guó gòng chǎn dǎng). During the event, which drew thousands of people to Tiananmen Square, Xi Jinping (习近平 xí jìn píng) gave a long speech to the nation that attracted a lot of attention. Today we’ll take a closer look at Xi Jinping’s controversial speech and learn some Chinese in the process.

Tiananmen – the heart of China.
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

First, let’s take a look at how Xi, who is known as the paramount leader (最高领导人 zuì gāo yōu xiān jí) of the CCP, addressed the crowd and nation to begin his speech:

同志们,朋友们:

今天,在中国共产党历史上,在中华民族历史上,都是一个十分重大而庄严的日子。我们在这里隆重集会,同全党全国各族人民一道,庆祝中国共产党成立一百周年,回顾中国共产党百年奋斗的光辉历程,展望中华民族伟大复兴的光明前景。

Tóngzhìmen, péngyǒumen:

Jīntiān, zài zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng lìshǐ shàng, zài zhōnghuá mínzú lìshǐ shàng, dōu shì yīgè shí fèn zhòngdà ér zhuāngyán de rìzi. Wǒmen zài zhèlǐ lóngzhòng jíhuì, tóng quán dǎng quánguó gè zú rénmín yīdào, qìngzhù zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng chénglì yībǎi zhōunián, huígù zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng bǎinián fèndòu de guānghuī lìchéng, zhǎnwàng zhōnghuá mínzú wěidà fùxīng de guāngmíng qiánjǐng.

Comrades and friends:

Today, the first of July, is a great and solemn day in the history of both the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese nation. We gather here to join all Party members and Chinese people of all ethnic groups around the country in celebrating the centenary of the Party, looking back on the glorious journey the Party has traveled over 100 years of struggle, and looking ahead to the bright prospects for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

 

Mr. Xi went on to tout the accomplishments that the Chinese Communist Party has made over the past 100 years:

我们实现了第一个百年奋斗目标,在中华大地上全面建成了小康社会,历史性地解决了绝对贫困问题,正在意气风发向着全面建成社会主义现代化强国的第二个百年奋斗目标迈进。

Wǒmen shíxiànle dì yī gè bǎinián fèndòu mùbiāo, zài zhōnghuá dà dìshàng quánmiàn jiànchéngle xiǎokāng shèhuì, lìshǐ xìng dì jiějuéle juéduì pínkùn wèntí, zhèngzài yìqìfēngfā xiàngzhe quánmiàn jiànchéng shèhuì zhǔyì xiàndàihuà qiángguó de dì èr gè bǎinián fèndòu mùbiāo màijìn.

We have achieved our first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society on the land of China, historically solved the problem of absolute poverty, and are vigorously moving towards the second centenary goal of building a modern and powerful socialist country in an all-round way.

 

He brought up the nation’s 5,000+ year history, along with some of the more turbulent times it has endured. One example he gave was the Opium War of 1840:

国家蒙辱、人民蒙难、文明蒙尘,中华民族遭受了前所未有的劫难。

Guójiā méng rǔ, rénmín méngnàn, wénmíng méngchén, zhōnghuá mínzú zāoshòule qiánsuǒwèiyǒu de jiénàn

The country was humiliated, the people were subjected to great pain, and the Chinese civilization was plunged into darkness.

 

From there, he discussed the many failed attempts at revolution and how the country found itself in need of new ideas and a new organization to move forward:

中国产生了共产党,这是开天辟地的大事变,深刻改变了近代以后中华民族发展的方向和进程,深刻改变了中国人民和中华民族的前途和命运,深刻改变了世界发展的趋势和格局。

Zhōngguó chǎnshēngle gòngchǎndǎng, zhè shì kāitiānpìdì de dàshì biàn, shēnkè gǎi biàn liǎo jìndài yǐhòu zhōnghuá mínzú fāzhǎn de fāngxiàng hé jìnchéng, shēnkè gǎibiànle zhōngguó rénmín hé zhōnghuá mínzú de qiántú hé mìngyùn, shēnkè gǎibiànle shìjiè fāzhǎn de qūshì hé géjú.

The birth of the Communist Party in China was a great event that broke ground. It profoundly changed the direction and process of the development of the Chinese nation after modern times, profoundly changed the future and destiny of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation, and profoundly changed the trend and pattern of world development.

Mr. Xi went on to discuss the many struggles the CCP endured over the following decades, such as the war against Japan as well as the civil war with the Kuomintang. He repeatedly touted the “national rejuvenation” that occurred under the guidance of the CCP:

中国共产党和中国人民以英勇顽强的奋斗向世界庄严宣告,中国人民站起来了,中华民族任人宰割、饱受欺凌的时代一去不复返了!

Zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng hé zhōngguó rénmín yǐ yīngyǒng wánqiáng de fèndòu xiàng shìjiè zhuāngyán xuāngào, zhōngguó rénmín zhàn qǐláile, zhōnghuá mínzú rèn rén zǎigē, bǎo shòu qīlíng de shídài yī qù bù fù fǎnle!

The Communist Party of China and the Chinese people solemnly declare to the world with brave and tenacious struggle that the Chinese people have stood up and the era of the Chinese nation being slaughtered and bullied is gone forever!

 

He spoke of his predecessors including Mao Zedong and mentioned a quote from the Great Helmsman himself:

“为有牺牲多壮志,敢教日月换新天”

“Wèi yǒu xīshēng duō zhuàngzhì, gǎn jiào rì yuè huàn xīn tiān”

“Our minds grow stronger for the martyrs’ sacrifice, daring to make the sun and the moon shine in the new sky.”

Mao’s Mausoleum in Tiananmen Square.
Photo taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

In addition to Mao he also brought up Deng Xiaoping, who ushered in the Reform & Opening Up era, as well as other CCP leaders Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. He also encouraged the audience to cherish the memory of all who fought for the liberation of the people:

他们为祖国和民族建立的丰功伟绩永载史册!他们的崇高精神永远铭记在人民心中!

Tāmen wèi zǔguó hé mínzú jiànlì de fēnggōngwěijī yǒng zài shǐcè! Tāmen de chónggāo jīngshén yǒngyuǎn míngjì zài rénmín xīnzhōng!

The great achievements they made for the motherland and nation will be recorded in the annals of history forever! Their lofty spirit will always be remembered in the hearts of the people!

 

Mr. Xi attributed the rise of China to the leadership of the CCP and said:

以史为鉴、开创未来,必须坚持中国共产党坚强领导。

Yǐshǐwèijiàn, kāichuàng wèilái, bìxū jiānchí zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng jiānqiáng lǐngdǎo.

To learn from history and create the future, we must uphold the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China.

 

He would go on to talk about “socialism with Chinese characteristics” (中国特色社会主义制度 Zhōngguó tèsè shèhuì zhǔyì zhìdù) being the greatest strength of the party. He stressed the unity between the people and the party and how it’s unwavering:

任何想把中国共产党同中国人民分割开来、对立起来的企图,都是绝不会得逞的!

Rènhé xiǎng bǎ zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng tóng zhōngguó rénmín fēngē kāi lái, duìlì qǐlái de qìtú, dōu shì jué bù huì déchěng de!

Any attempt to divide the Party from the Chinese people or to set the people against the Party is bound to fail.

 

Mr. Xi would go on to share his vision for the future of the country and the party. He discussed the Belt & Road Initiative and other ambitious projects. Minutes after saying how peace and harmony have always been a part of the country’s 5,000 year history, his speech quickly took a more aggressive tone:

中国人民也绝不允许任何外来势力欺负、压迫、奴役我们,谁妄想这样干,必将在14亿多中国人民用血肉筑成的钢铁长城面前碰得头破血流!

Zhōngguó rénmín yě jué bù yǔnxǔ rènhé wàilái shìlì qīfù, yāpò, núyì wǒmen, shéi wàngxiǎng zhèyàng gàn, bì jiàng zài 14 yì duō zhōngguó rénmín yòng xiěròu zhù chéng de gāngtiě chángchéng miànqián pèng dé tóu pò xiě liú!

The Chinese people will never allow any foreign forces to bully, oppress, or enslave us. Whoever wants to do this will be on a collision course with a Great Wall of Steel built by more than 1.4 billion Chinese people!

 

He talked about the “One Country, Two Systems” that has been the official policy in regards to Hong Kong and Macau since they were returned to China. What he said next in regards to Taiwan garnered a lot of attention:

解决台湾问题、实现祖国完全统一,是中国共产党矢志不渝的历史任务,是全体中华儿女的共同愿望。

Jiějué táiwān wèntí, shíxiàn zǔguó wánquán tǒngyī, shì zhōngguó gòngchǎndǎng shǐzhì bù yú de lìshǐ rènwù, shì quántǐ zhōnghuá érnǚ de gòngtóng yuànwàng.

Solving the Taiwan issue and realizing the complete reunification of the motherland are the unswerving historical tasks of the Chinese Communist Party and the common aspiration of all Chinese people.

 

Wrapping things up, Mr. Xi talked about the importance of the youth in China and how they will need to live up to the expectations of the country and the party. He spoke of achieving the “Chinese dream” (中国梦 zhōngguó mèng), a phrase that has been a hallmark of his administration. Here is how Xi ended his long speech to the nation:

伟大、光荣、正确的中国共产党万岁!伟大、光荣、英雄的中国人民万岁!

wěi dà, guāng róng, zhèng què de zhōng guó gòng chǎn dǎng wàn suì! wěi dà, guāng róng, yīng xióng de zhōng guó rén mín wàn suì

Long live the great, glorious and heroic Chinese people! Long live the great, glorious, and correct Communist Party of China!

 

Those who would like a very challenging reading exercise can click here to find the entire text of his speech in Chinese. If you’re interested, you can watch the entire ceremony including Xi Jinping’s speech here:

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


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