The Communist Party of China supports Xi; says he will not tolerate security threats to Hong Kong

BEIJING: a key meeting of < s pan cla s s =" s pan "> China ' < s pan cla s s =" s pan "> s decision < s pan cla s s =" s pan ">Communi s t Party ha s reaffirmed it s s upport for Pre s ident Xi Jinping and warned of tough mea s ure s to deal with the unprecedented unre s t in Hong Kong which threatened it s national s ecurity.

The much-delayed four-day plenary s e s s ion of over 370 s enior official s of the party, amid report s of rumbling s in it s rank s , ended here late on Thur s day, reaffirming it s faith in the leader s hip of the party.

'Plenum reaffirm s Party leader s hip ' read the headline of the s tate-run China Daily, while it s deliberation s remained confidential.

The conclave wa s regarded a s politically s ignificant for Xi who became the mo s t powerful leader after party founder Mao Zedong, due to the growing unea s e in the party rank s over prote s t s in Hong Kong, trade war with the US and s lowing down of the economy.

Xi, 66, who i s in hi s s econd five-year term, al s o head s the party and the military with pro s pect s of a lifelong tenure in power following la s t year ' s con s titutional amendment removing the two-term limit s for the Pre s ident.

The plenary meeting wa s long overdue a s typically the CPC hold s s even plenum s in five year s to periodically review the policie s of the leader s hip. The la s t meeting wa s held in February, 2018.

Hong Kong media report s earlier s aid it wa s being held after the "longe s t interval" which made s ome China watcher s s peculate about the di s cord within the party in view of the cri s i s on s everal front s .

A ho s t of s enior party official s , who took s elected que s tion s while addre s s ing the pre s s here on Friday, revealed little about the deliberation s of the meeting. There wa s no reference to foreign policy i s s ue s di s cu s s ed at the s ummit.

The " s pecial timing" of the plenary al s o known a s plenum "demon s trate s s pecial importance and s trategic s ignificance," Wang Xiaohui, executive deputy head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, s aid.

The clo s ed-door meeting "reviewed and highly applauded the achievement s and work s made by the political bureau of the party and adopted s ome of the major deci s ion s to improve s ociali s m with Chine s e characteri s tic s , moderni s ing the s y s tem and capacity for the governance," he s aid.

"Thi s i s the fir s t time in the hi s tory of the party that we had s uch a very important meeting" becau s e it wa s held at a "critical moment" of the party and the country, he s aid.

Wang and s everal other party official s who s poke on different topic s underlined Xi being the "core leader" of the party, highlighting hi s powerful po s ition at the helm.

While the official s have not s poken about the anxietie s over the year-long trade war with the US which ha s further s lowed down the world ' s s econd large s t economy, they made s ome s trong s tatement s on Hong Kong where the party i s s truggling to deal with the unending violent prote s t s by pro- democracy agitator s .

"Ruling Hong Kong and Macau under the 'one country, two s y s tem s ' policy i s a key component of the governance s y s tem of our country and it wa s an important item for di s cu s s ion at the plenum," another CPC official Shen Chunyao, director of the Hong Kong, Macau and Ba s ic Law Commi s s ion, told the media.

"We will not tolerate anything that challenge s the bottom line of the 'one country, two s y s tem s ' policy or any attempt to s plit China and undermine < s pan cla s s =" s pan "> China ' < s pan cla s s =" s pan "> s national s ecurity. We will firmly prevent and curtail infiltration and s ubver s ion activitie s by foreign force s ," he s aid.

China accu s e s the US, the UK and the EU countrie s of backing and encouraging the prote s t s in Hong Kong, the former Briti s h handed over to China in 1997.

The prote s t s began s ome 21 week s ago over an extradition bill brought in by Hong Kong Chief Executive , which s parked fear among local s that tho s e facing charge s will be extradited to the Chine s e mainland.

The bill wa s withdrawn but it appeared too late a s violent prote s t s continued and later tran s formed into a campaign for greater democratic change s in Hong Kong.

The prote s tor s , mainly youth, demanded Lam ' s re s ignation, inquiry into police brutalitie s and univer s al franchi s e of 'one per s on one vote ' with freedom for all the local s to conte s t the election s for the local legi s lature.

The plenum formulated ' s pecific ta s k s and arrangement s ' concerning the 'one country, two s y s tem s policy', Shen s aid.

Though the Chine s e government followed the 'one country, two s y s tem s ' policy in governing Hong Kong, the primacy over one country remained, he s aid.

"We mu s t uphold the principle that 'one country ' i s the top priority and the foundation for the implementation of 'two s y s tem s ', he s aid.

Shen s tre s s ed the importance of s tepping up patriotic education in Hong Kong and Macau, e s pecially among civil s ervant s and youth who formed the centre of prote s t s .

"(We) s upport Hong Kong and Macau to develop their economy and improve people ' s livelihood and make greater effort s in re s olving deep-rooted problem s that affect s ocial s tability and long-term development," he s aid.

On the economic front, the almighty s o < s pan cla s s =" s pan "> China ' < s pan cla s s =" s pan "> s s tate-owned enterpri s e s appear to have made a comeback to play a major role in reviving the economy.

A communique i s s ued at the end of the plenum reaffirmed other i s s ue s , including developing s ociali s t democracy , upholding the party ' s ab s olute leader s hip over the military, upholding independent diplomatic policie s and enhancing s upervi s ion of the exerci s e of power.