Chinese leader Xi Jinping has delivered a strident speech during major celebrations to commemorate the the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.
The Chinese president issued a violent warning to any nation which may seek to oppose it which prompted global headlines. But it was his attire that some were more interested in.
The Chinese president – who has tightened his grip over the party and cemented indefinite control in recent years – invoked the party's roots with his fashion choice wearing a suit reminiscent of the country's leading figure.
Wearing a "Mao suit", the Chinese leader laid out his militaristic vision for the country.
Mao Zedong, known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the founding father of the People's Republic of China.
Western nations once thought China's growing prosperity would lead to democratic reforms as the nation opened up to the world but since coming to rule the party in 2013, Mr Xi has well and truly killed off any hope of that with an increasingly authoritarian approach.
The suit, for some of those watching on, was seen as a nod to the communist and Leninist roots of the party which he has strengthened as a modern dictator.
Chinese opponents will have 'their heads bashed bloody': Xi
The Chinese people will never allow foreign forces to bully or oppress them, Mr Xi said during his speech on Thursday.
"Anyone who dares try to do that will have their heads bashed bloody against the Great Wall of Steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people," he said.
In his televised address, Mr Xi also pledged to complete "reunification" with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to "smash" any attempts at formal independence for the island.
"Solving the Taiwan question and realising the complete reunification of the motherland are the unswerving historical tasks of the Chinese Communist Party and the common aspiration of all Chinese people," Mr Xi said.
"All sons and daughters of China, including compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must work together and move forward in solidarity, resolutely smashing any 'Taiwan independence' plots."
China's determination to reclaim Taiwan, a democratic nation of 23 million people, has long been seen as a potential flashpoint for global conflict.
Xi pledges to strengthen Chinese military
Mr Xi also vowed China would build up its military to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development, elevating it to world-class standards.
"We must accelerate the modernisation of national defence and the armed forces," Mr Xi, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, said.
His speech asserted China had achieved its centenary goal of building "a moderately prosperous society".
The overarching theme of the party's work during the past 100 years was to rejuvenate the nation, Mr Xi, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, said.
"The people of China are not only good at destroying the old world, they have also created a new world," he said.
"Only socialism can save China."
Party membership swells under Xi
The Chinese Communist Party, which came to power in 1949 under Mao, initially recruited peasants and workers, but has evolved to embrace markets and entrepreneurship under "socialism with Chinese characteristics" while retaining a Leninist model of authoritarianism.
Party ranks swelled by 2.43 million in 2020, the largest annual gain since Mr Xi became president in 2013, to 95.15 million members, data released on Wednesday showed.
Thursday's celebrations began with a flyby of fighter jets and helicopters at Tiananmen Square in the centre of the capital.
About 30 aircraft formed a "100" as crowds cheered under the gaze of the nation's leaders, seated at the southern ramparts of the Forbidden City.
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