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Xi Jinping at China congress calls on party to tighten its grip on the country

Xi Jinping at China congress calls on party to tighten its grip on the country

THE WASHINGTON POST – SIMON DENYER

For 3½ hours, China’s President Xi Jinping commanded the stage and the nation’s television screens as he set out a far-reaching agenda for the Communist Party, outlining a vision of total control, not only of the nation’s economy and the Internet but also of culture, religion and morals.

The Communist Party already has a hand in just about every aspect of life here. But Xi’s speech Wednesday — opening a five-yearly congress of the party’s top leadership — cast the net even wider.

His was a vision of a reinvigorated Communist Party, backed by a strong economy and a powerful, modern military taking an even more central role in the affairs of the nation and a more confident role on the world stage.

“Achieving national rejuvenation will be no walk in the park,” Xi told more than 2,200 members of the party’s elite, speaking beneath gigantic red drapes and a huge hammer and sickle in the mammoth Great Hall of the People, a monument to Communist authoritarianism, on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

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