Martyr’s Day Ceremony: China’s Xi Jinping Leads During Patriotism Drive

Story Highlights
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a solemn commemoration on Thursday.
  • Xi has taken a hard line on foreign policy and cracked down on free speech and political opposition in Hong Kong.
  • China claims the self-governing island democracy as its own territory and has threatened to use military force to seize control of it.

On Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a solemn commemoration for those who died in the struggle to establish Communist Party rule, as part of a national drive to strengthen patriotism and single-party authority. While a military band played, Xi and six other members of the party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee led aged veterans, government and military leaders, and others in paying their respects at Tiananmen Square’s Monument to the People’s Heroes.

Xi, who also serves as state president, made no remarks, but Premier Li Keqiang spoke at a reception on Thursday evening. On the 72nd birthday of People’s Republic of China, a flag-raising ceremony in Beijing’s Tian’anmen Square is also underway in the first light of the sun.

National Martyr’s Day was set up in 2014 with the aim to commemorate those who lost lives while fighting for national causes. The day is one of the China’s three annual national memorial days. Victory Day of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression on September 3 and National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims observed on December 13.

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