In his first public address since securing a third term as China’s president, Xi Jinping urged the country to build a “great wall of steel” in the form of its military to safeguard its national security and development interests. Speaking at the closing session of the National People’s Congress, Xi also called for China to “unswervingly achieve” national reunification, citing the island of Taiwan as a major challenge. Xi emphasized the need for faster technology development and more self-reliance in his speech full of nationalistic terms. The ruling Communist Party is expected to tighten oversight over security matters, following Xi’s replacement of top security officials with his trusted allies. China also set a GDP growth target of about 5%, its lowest in almost three decades. The new premier, Li Qiang, reassured the private sector that the environment for entrepreneurial businesses would improve and equal treatment would be given to all types of companies. Li is tasked with reviving the world’s second-largest economy after three years of COVID-19 curbs.
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