AP PHOTOS: China’s Communist Party marks centenary

Jun 29, 2021, 9:31 PM | Updated: Jun 30, 2021, 2:01 am

BEIJING (AP) — China’s ruling Communist Party is marking its centenary with fireworks and fanfare.

Since seizing power amid civil war in 1949, the party has undergone a tumultuous history, but president and party leader Xi Jinping is emphasizing the country’s rise to economic, military and diplomatic power over the past four decades since reforms were enacted.

Commemorations are to continue through Thursday’s anniversary of the party’s founding as an underground political movement in 1921.

Going unmentioned are the disasters brought under the founder of the Communist state, Mao Zedong, as well as the bloody military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.

In the decades since, China has risen to become the world’s second largest economy, has placed a space station into orbit and expanded its economic and political influence throughout 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 have been imprisoned or intimidated into silence, while heavy-handed policies have been implemented to quell activism among ethnic minorities in Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia.

Free speech and political opposition in the former British colony of Hong Kong have been reined in, while China is sending growing sorties of fighter jets around Taiwan, the self-governing island democracy it claims as its own territory and threatens to invade.

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AP PHOTOS: China’s Communist Party marks centenary