(TibetanReview.net, Jun29’21) – China kicked off its party centenary celebrations on Jun 29 by awarding medals to 29 people for “outstanding contributions to the party.” Among them were a 60-year-old Tibetan herdswoman and a 33-year-old “Galwan Valley” martyr. The medals were presented by Party General Secretary and state President Xi Jinping in Beijing’s iconic Great Hall of the People.
Recipients of the newly established Jul 1 medal included several soldiers and officials from the restive provinces of Tibet and Xinjiang, where the United Nations has said about one million, mostly Muslim, Uighurs have been held in detention camps that China calls vocational skills training centres, noted the aljazeera.com Jun 29.
It was earlier reported by China’s official globaltimes.cn Jun 1 that the 60-year-old female shepherd from Tibet Autonomous Region was the youngest candidate still alive and she had made contributions to China’s border safety through a decades-long grazing patrol.
It also said another awardee, 1987-born Chen Hongjun, was “a border defense hero who held his post in the plateau for 10 years and died in safeguarding China’s territorial integrity against Indian provocation in the Galwan Valley in June 2020.”
Also honoured were provincial officials for “what the Communist Party describes as battling separatism and encouraging loyalty to the party,” the report noted.
The list was stated to include “war heroes, maritime militia, scientists, community workers, artists, diplomats, and pioneers in national unity, educators and police.”
The report quoted Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, as saying at that time, “Conferring Jul 1 Medals sends a strong signal to those anti-China forces that the Chinese PLA is capable of defeating invasions of all enemies and will follow CPC’s leadership to resolutely safeguard sovereignty and China’s development interests. What the anti-China forces try to incite is doomed to fail.”
Xi has called the recipients of the Jul 1 medal as “ordinary heroes that fulfil their duties and make quiet contributions.”
He has also said the Communist Party of China (CPC) had written a “splendid chapter in the history of the Chinese nation’s development and that of humanity’s progress over the past century”.
The CPC was founded in the city of Shanghai in July 1921. It toppled the nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek in 1949 to establish the People’s Republic of China. It then at once set out to “liberate” Tibet with armed invasion followed by a May 1951 agreement with Tibet, and eventually fully annexed it in 1959.
The CPC currently has some 92 million members, or 6.6% of the PRC’s population.
In his speech, Xi said party members should lead the drive for China’s “great rejuvenation,” a reference to his agenda for China to retake its centuries-old role as a regional and international power in culture, economics and military power, reported the AP Jun 29.