President Xi Jinping urged China’s youth on Tuesday to be loyal to the Communist Party as he sought to whip up patriotic sentiment in a nationalist speech marking the centennial of a student protest.
Xi delivered his hour-long plea at the Great Hall of the People to commemorate the May Fourth Movement, a landmark protest against colonialism and imperialism that rocked China in 1919.
The speech came as the party faces a slowing economy and a series of politically sensitive anniversaries, including 30 years since the June 4, 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters.
“It’s very shameful if a person isn’t patriotic or even deceives or betrays the motherland. There is no place for such a person to stand anywhere,” Xi told rows of young people, workers, soldiers and Communist Party cadres, many writing notes as he spoke.