BEIJING – China’s ruling Communist Party is celebrating its 100th anniversary with fireworks and fanfare.
Since taking power in the middle of the civil war in 1949, the party has gone through a turbulent history, but party president and leader Xi Jinping has highlighted the country’s rise to economic, military and diplomatic power over the past four decades since reforms were enacted.
The commemorations will continue until Thursday, the anniversary of the founding of the party as an underground political movement in 1921.
There is no mention of the catastrophes brought under the founder of the communist state Mao Zedong, as well as the bloody military action of the pro-democratic movement focused on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.
In the decades since, China has grown to become the world’s second-largest economy, putting a space station into orbit and expanding its economic and political influence across Asia and the world as part of what the party calls “the country’s great rejuvenation.”
Those who oppose the party’s complete control over political life are imprisoned or intimidated by silence, while a tough policy is being pursued to combat activism among ethnic minorities in Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia.
Freedom of speech and political opposition in the former British colony of Hong Kong have been curbed, while China is sending increasing fighter jets through Taiwan, a self-governing island democracy that it claims as its own territory and threatens invasion.