China’s Xi leads Martyr’s Day ceremony amid patriotism drive

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BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping has paid respects at a commemoration for those who died in the struggle to establish Communist Party rule as he leads a drive to reinforce patriotism and single-party authority. Xi and the other Politburo Standing Committee members led the events in Tiananmen Square. Xi didn’t give a speech although Premier Li Keqiang addresses a reception later Thursday. The Martyr’s Day ceremony underscores the stress Xi places on Communist traditions. While building up a cult of personality, Xi has pushed a hardline on foreign policy and a crackdown on free speech in Hong Kong while upping China’s threats to use military force to bring democratic Taiwan under Beijing’s control. 

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