Chinese President Xi Jinping said that 2019 was a “challenging” year for communism at a meeting of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) political bureau last week.
He added that the nation’s economy is especially facing challenge, the Communist Party’s official news outlet, People’s Daily Online, reported.
“The top CPC leadership, led by Xi, have been fully aware of the economic conditions and made decisions in a targeted manner,” the CPC noted. “Amid concerns about mounting downward pressure and whether China can deliver its 6-6.5 percent GDP growth target this year, Friday’s meeting pointed out that the basic trend of steady long-term growth for China’s economy remains unchanged at present and for a period to come.”
One of the reasons the nation is struggling economically is the trade war between China and the U.S.
The protests in Hong Kong have also damaged the image of the Communist Party in China. Xi threatened anyone who attempted to split Hong Kong from China to grind their bones into powder.
“Anyone who attempts to split any region from China will perish, with their bodies smashed and bones ground to powder,” Xi reportedly said. “Any external forces that support the splitting of China can only be regarded as delusional by the Chinese people”
For the past seven months, tens of thousands have taken to the streets of Hong Kong to protest Chinese rule. Demonstrators are demanding democracy in Hong Kong after a proposed extradition bill would let the Chinese government deport individuals charged with crimes in Hong Kong to mainland China for prosecution.
The Communist Party reportedly wanted to replace Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, but the city’s legislature failed to impeach her on Dec. 5.
Lam also wants out of the role, saying that her leadership under the protests is unacceptable.
“For a chief executive to have caused this huge havoc to Hong Kong is unforgivable,” Lam said in a leaked audio recording. “If I have a choice, the first thing is to quit, having made a deep apology.”
Moreover, the protests have been getting violent on both sides. 11 people have died, activists are threatening Hong Kong police members’ lives and the police have attack activists.
“Violence against police has reached a life-threatening level,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Tang Ping-Keung said. “They are not protesters, they are rioters and criminals. Whatever cause they are fighting for, it never justifies such violence.”
Additionally, police shot a teenage demonstrator during protests against China’s National Day on Oct. 1. Police described the shooting as “reasonable and lawful,” saying the officer feared for his life. The next day Hong Kong schoolchildren protested the police shooting by boycotting class.