Xi of China says that the west has long-term economic and military superiority

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BEIJING (Reuters) – Developed Western nations have long-term economic, technological and military advantages over China and the Communist Party must realize that some people will use the strengths of the West to criticize the failures of socialism, he said. President Xi Jinping.

FILE PHOTO – Chinese President Xi Jinping holds a press conference after a meeting with the French President at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, on March 25, 2019. Yoan Valat / Pool via REUTERS

Since taking power in China more than six years ago, Xi has intensified efforts to ensure total party loyalty and discipline, including a deep repression of corruption, warning that the very survival of the party is at stake.

This year, which is marked by a series of sensitive anniversaries including three decades after the bloody repression against pro-democracy demonstrators in and around Tiananmen Square, has seen a further increase in loyalty demands from party.

On Monday, the main theoretical newspaper of the Qiushi party, which means "Seeking Truth", published long extracts for the first time from a speech that Xi gave at the beginning of 2013 shortly after becoming party leader, warning of the dangers that the party has to face.

Quoting Marx and Engels, Xi said that socialism would inevitably defeat capitalism, but that it would be a long historical process. China practices what it calls socialism with Chinese characteristics.

China must "fully evaluate the objective reality of the long-term advantage that Western developed countries have in the economic, scientific and military fields and conscientiously prepare all aspects of cooperation and long-term struggle between the two social systems", he said. Xi.

The party also needed to "face the reality that some people compare the good qualities of the developed western nations with the insufficiencies of the socialist development of our country and criticize them," he added.

While the party committed "big mistakes" such as the Cultural Revolution, when children turned parents and students over to teachers after Mao Zedong declared class war, the party's story is "generally speaking glorious," Xi said.

Those who criticize the revolution – which brought the Communist Party to power in 1949 – are simply trying to incite the party to overthrow, he added.

But China needs to stick to its important economic reforms begun in 1978, without which the party may have fallen, Xi said.

The party "could also have faced a serious crisis, such as the death of the party and the death of the country encountered by the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe".

But China had shown that opponents were wrong, Xi added.

"Both history and reality tell us that only socialism can save China. Only socialism with Chinese characteristics can develop China. This is the conclusion of history and people's choice."

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reports from Gao Liangping; Edited by Nick Macfie

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