x

WORLD

Troubles Aside, Xi says China on ‘Right Side of History’

December 31, 2022

BEIJING — China “stands on the right side of history,” the country’s leader Xi Jinping said Saturday in a New Year’s address that came as questions swirl over his government’s handling of COVID-19 and economic and political challenges at home and abroad.

Speaking on national television from behind a desk in a wood-paneled office, Xi largely avoided directly addressing issues confronting the country, pointing instead to successes in agricultural production, poverty elimination and its hosting of the Winter Olympics in February.

However, he later turned somewhat obliquely to the challenges facing the world’s most populous country and second-largest economy, saying, “The world is not at peace.”

China will “always steadfastly advocate for peace and development … and unswervingly stands on the right side of history,” he said.

Recent weeks have seen street protests against Xi’s government, the first facing the ruling Communist Party in more than three decades.

Xi’s speech follows a stunning U-turn on China’s hard-line COVID-19 containment policy that has sparked a massive surge in infections and demands from the U.S. and others for travelers from China to prove they aren’t infected.

Meanwhile, the economy is fighting its way out of the doldrums, spurring rising unemployment, while ties with the U.S. and other major nations are at historic lows.

Setting aside their uncertainty, people in Beijing and other cities have returned to work, shopping areas and restaurants, with consumers preparing for January’s Lunar New Year holiday, the most significant in the Chinese calendar.

Xi, who is also head of the increasingly powerful armed forces, was in October given a third five-year term as head of the almost 97 million-member Communist Party.

Having sidelined potential rivals and eliminated all limits on his terms in office, he could potentially serve as China’s leader for the rest of his life.

China has also come under pressure for its continued support for Russia, and on Friday, Xi held a virtual meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which he was quoted as describing the events in Ukraine as a “crisis.”

The term marked a departure from China’s usual references to the “Ukraine situation,” and the change may reflect growing Chinese concern about the direction of the conflict.

Still, in his remarks to Putin, Xi was careful to reiterate Chinese support for Moscow. China has pledged a “no limits” friendship with Russia and hasn’t blamed Putin for the conflict, while attacking the U.S. and NATO and condemning punishing economic sanctions imposed on Russia.

RELATED

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Three Russian missiles slammed into a downtown area of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv on Wednesday, hitting an eight-floor apartment building and killing at least 13 people, authorities said.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Russian Missiles Slam into a Ukraine City and Kill 13 People as the War Approaches a Critical Stage

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Three Russian missiles slammed into a downtown area of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv on Wednesday, hitting an eight-floor apartment building and killing at least 13 people, authorities said.

It was a close brush with death but a 40-year-old British tourist bitten by a deadly viper while at a yoga retreat on Cyprus is recovering after getting swift hospitalization to counteract the venom.

ATHENS - After Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system - with help from French, American and British fighter jet pilots - knocked Iranian missiles and drones from the skies during an attack, Greece is looking to create a similar protection method.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Three Russian missiles slammed into a downtown area of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv on Wednesday, hitting an eight-floor apartment building and killing at least 13 people, authorities said.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Visitors to Disney's California parks could one day walk through the snow-covered hamlet of Arendelle from “Frozen” or the bustling, critter-filled metropolis of “Zootopia” under a park expansion plan approved by the Anaheim City Council.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.