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During the speech, thunderous applause welcomed Xi’s mention of perceived successes, from quelling the COVID-19 outbreak to quelling unrest in Hong Kong.

His comments on Taiwan received the longest and loudest round of applause.

Xi did not directly mention the northwestern part of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Western countries have accused China of widespread human rights abuses against minority Muslims, especially the Uyghurs.

“In Xinjiang, we are living a very happy life because our great party guides us…As a Uyghur, I am very grateful to be able to live here in China,” he said in his speech.

In the week leading up to the event, Beijing was adorned with banners, exhibitions and flower arrangements that celebrated the Party’s virtues and President Xi Jinping’s political philosophy and urged onlookers to “welcome” to Congress.

Security was tight in the capital, with police posting sentries at major intersections and heavily manned pedestrian bridges throughout the city.

The mostly closed-door conclave was held under China’s strict zero-COVID policy, with journalists and other attendees locked in a virus-safe bubble with mandatory mask-wearing and daily PCR testing from Friday. . It is Xi’s party in China’s historic 20th Congress.

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