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Similar to the war against Japanese aggression, China is expecting many “great battles” in its future development, said Xi in an address to the country on Wednesday.
“We must get prepared for many great battles with new historical characteristics as the country is striving to achieve its goals, gradually realize the common prosperity for all, and realize the Chinese dream of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” Xi said.
China and the US, and its allies like Japan, are locked in competition over trade and over military and diplomatic influence in the region.
“In the journey ahead of us, we must unswervingly adhere to the socialist path with Chinese characteristics, put development as CPC’s top task in governance, comprehensively deepen reform and stick to the path of peaceful development,” he added.
China’s economy has had a rocky spell this year. Growth sank to an 18-month low of 7.4 per cent in the first quarter before edging up to 7.5 per cent between April and June.
On Wednesday more than 1500 special guests, including top Communist officials, military veterans turned out to hear Xi’s speech outside the Museum of the War of the Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.
Tensions between the two countries have increased in recent months with territorial disputes and Tokyo’s refusal to apologise for wartime acts, including Japan’s use of wartime sex slaves and the Nanjing massacre in 1937.
China’s official statistics say 35 million Chinese were killed and wounded during the war with Japan. The War of Resistance began in 1937, when Japan launched a full-scale invasion after the July 7th incident, also known as the Marco Polo/Lugou Bridge Incident.
Earlier this year, China has rejected a World Bank report that suggests it might pass the United States this year to become the biggest economy measured by its currency’s purchasing power.
The IMF forecasts China’s economic growth this year at 7.5 per cent, nearly triple the 2.8 per cent outlook for the United States.
Both China and the US are also trying to broaden and deepen their influence in Africa, with China dominating the continent economically.
In August this year, Beijing hit back at US President Barack Obama after he took a dig at China at the 1st Africa-US Summit, as the world’s two biggest economies compete for strategic advantage in the continent.
TBP and Agencies