China sovereignty never to be undermined, XI says in Korean War speech

Cheryl Sanders
October 24, 2020

The milestone comes amid plummeting relations between Beijing and Washington as the countries feud over trade, human rights, allegations of spying and Chinese policies regarding Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea.

China's President Xi Jinping has said at a ceremony commemorating the Korean War that the conflict shattered the myth of USA military invincibility.

This ceremony came as the US military has been intensifying close-up reconnaissance missions off China's coastline in the South China Sea, increasing the frequency of warships' transits through the Taiwan Strait, and speeding up its arms sales to the Taiwan region, all of which Beijing sees as Washington bullying China.

Seventy years after Chinese troops entered the Korean War to fight against United States troops, President Xi Jinping said on Friday that China will never allow its sovereignty, security and development interests to be undermined.

"Let the world know that "the people of China are now organised and are not to be trifled with", Xi said, quoting Mao Zedong, the founding father of the People's Republic of China.

The visit was Kim's first to the cemetery on the October anniversary of China's entry into the war, adding to speculation that he wishes to strengthen ties with Beijing while preparing for new dealings with the USA after the November 3 elections.

Although fighting ended in a stalemate, the war established China as a major player on the world stage and Friday's commemorations closely fit with Xi's drive to promote patriotism and the unquestioned leadership of the ruling Communist Party.

"The Chinese people will not create trouble but nor are we afraid of them, and no matter the difficulties or challenges we face, our legs will not shake and our backs will not bend".

He also said China will never allow any forces to violate or separate its sacred territory, and that it will hit back if grave situations occur.

While Xi never mentioned the USA outside of his comments specifically on events during the Korean War, he ended his speech with a warning to states who endorsed "unilateralism, protectionism and extreme egoism". However, at the request of the DPRK, Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) army entered the Korean Peninsula in October 1950 to aid the DPRK until a truce was reached in 1953.

On Wednesday, the Pentagon announced it had agreed to sell more than US$1 billion (S$1.36 billion) worth of missiles to self-governing Taiwan, the sharpest potential flashpoint with USA forces. In 1951, the Communist Party of China Central Committee chose to commemorate the war annually on that date, according to the Global Times.

An action-thriller "Sacrifice", directed by three of the biggest names in Chinese cinema and depicting a small band of Chinese troops holding off U.S. forces in the final days of the war-hit cinemas across the country on Friday.

China considers Taiwan to be a wayward province - and the island has become the latest flashpoint in Beijing's deteriorating relations with the United States. Xi and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have met five times since March 2018.

By commemorating the anniversary "China is declaring to the USA that it was not afraid of the U.S. in the past, and is still not afraid of the United States now", said Shi Yinhong, professor of worldwide politics at Renmin University. "It's to prepare for a possible limited military conflict with the USA".

Other reports by iNewsToday