China to Adversaries: Your Heads Will Be Bashed Bloody
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has very strong remarks for China’s adversaries who attempt to “bully” the nation: “Their heads will be bashed bloody.”
Xi was speaking at the Communist Party’s 100th founding anniversary when he lashed out at “foreign forces” who are allegedly attempting to contain China’s rise.
“The Chinese people will never allow any foreign forces to bully, oppress, or enslave us. Anyone who dares try to do that will have their heads bashed bloody against a Great Wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people,” said Xi as transcribed by the Washington Post.
Xi’s fiery remarks come on the heels of intense international pushback against China's economic and military rise. The country has increasingly sparred with the U.S. regarding issues in the South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea, and is reeling from an embarrassing blow at the hands of the European Union, which froze a major economic deal with Beijing.
‘The Chinese have never bullied oppressed or enslaved other countries’
In his speech, Xi compared China to the world, saying “The Chinese people have never bullied, oppressed, or enslaved the people of other countries,” as if to say, “so why are you bullying us?”
Xi’s words could have a two-fold purpose: The first is to remind the world that China’s rise is inevitable and that its patience should not be tested because it is prepared to drop its benevolent persona to fight back. The second is to galvanize public opinion on the Communist Party.
The effect of that second purpose was immediate. On Weibo, “Heads Bashed Bloody” trended with over 900 million engagement hours after Xi’s speech.
Intense International Pushback Against China
It cannot be denied that there is an ongoing pushback against China from the West.
In recent months, Western powers have been trying to counter China’s growing economic and military power in the region. Some of the world’s nuclear powers will be sailing to the South China Sea to conduct naval drills and freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) in the coming months. The participants include the U.S., U.K., France, Japan, and Canada. Meanwhile, the members of the Five Powers Defense Agreements—Australia, U.K., Malaysia, New Zealand, and Singapore—will also hold naval exercises in the region. The British are sending its largest carrier strike group led by the HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The U.S. has also stepped up engagement with allies in Southeast Asia. It is currently building a “maritime training center” on Indonesia’s Riau Islands in the South China Sea. The U.S. is also providing fresh military hardware for the Philippines, its oldest ally in Asia. It recently approved the sale of F-16 jets to the country.
In April, the 27-nation European Union condemned China’s activities in the West Philippine Sea and called for all countries to respect international law, particularly the Arbitration Award rendered under UNCLOS on 12 July 2016, which was won by the Philippines.
Then, in early June, the E.U. dealt a painful blow to China after Beijing sanctioned 10 European politicans and organizations. In a sweeping move, the European Parliament put into deep freeze Europe’s economic agreements with China until the country lifts the sanctions on the European statesmen. The E.U.-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment is a major economic deal that took seven years of negotiations, and was finally approved by both sides in December 2020.
But China is no longer Asia’s sleeping dragon. It has clearly woken. Xi Jinping is undoubtedly the most powerful Chinese leader in history, and he will not allow another Century of Humiliation to hinder China's ascent.