In a fiery speech delivered at an event marking the centenary of the ruling Communist Party, China's President Xi Jinping on Thursday warned that foreign powers will "get their heads bashed" if they attempt to bully or influence the country, as per a report by The Guardian.
The 100th-anniversary celebrations on Thursday morning saw military jet fly-pasts, cannon salutes and patriotic songs played.
A carefully vetted crowd were in attendance in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, many of whom were not wearing masks.
In the speech before a crowd of 70,000 in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Xi stated that the era of China being bullied was "gone forever" and remarked that it will not accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture.
Taking into account that China has never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country and assuring that it never will, Xi fiercely remarked that the country will also never allow anyone to bully, oppress, or subjugate [China].
He added that anyone who tries to bully, oppress or subjugate China will find them on a collision course with a steel wall forged by 1.4 billion people.
Xi also praised the ruling party for lifting China out of poverty and humiliation and pledged to expand China's military and influence, as per a report by The Guardian.
In his speech, Xi said a strong country must have a strong military to guarantee the security of the nation, and the People's Liberation Army had made "indelible achievements".
He noted that the army was a "strong pillar" for safeguarding the country and preserving national dignity, sovereignty and development interests, not just in China but in the region "and beyond".
He also emphasised that the party must maintain "absolute leadership" over the military, which must be grown and elevated "to world-class standards".
Xi's speech charted the history of the CCP from its origins in Shanghai in 1921, to its place today, declaring it had achieved its first centenary goal of building a "moderately prosperous society in all respects", and claiming to have eradicated poverty.
The speech also included Xi requesting to the public to cherish the memory of comrades Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, and other veteran revolutionaries who contributed greatly to China's revolution, construction, and reform, and the founding, consolidation, and development of the Communist Party of China.
He also took note to cherish the memory of the revolutionary martyrs who bravely laid down their lives to establish, defend, and develop the People's Republic.
The speech ended with Xi appealing to the public to uphold the Party's overall leadership and continue to enhance its leadership. He further asked them to continue to adapt Marxism to the Chinese context and uphold Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, and fully implement the thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.