Asia

Xi urges Chinese Communist Party to embrace Marxist roots

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping, 10th from left in first row, delivers his speech during a celebration ceremony to mark the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, July 1, 2016. (How Hwee Young/Pool Photo via AP)

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, 10th from left in first row, delivers his speech during a celebration ceremony to mark the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, July 1, 2016. (How Hwee Young/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping, front, and Premier Li Keqiang arrive for a ceremony to mark the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, July 1, 2016. (How Hwee Young/Pool Photo via AP)

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, front, and Premier Li Keqiang arrive for a ceremony to mark the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, July 1, 2016. (How Hwee Young/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, bows as Premier Li Keqiang claps during a ceremony to mark the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, July 1, 2016. (How Hwee Young/Pool Photo via AP)

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, bows as Premier Li Keqiang claps during a ceremony to mark the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, July 1, 2016. (How Hwee Young/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the 88-million-strong Communist Party to embrace its Marxist roots as he delivered an emphatic call for ideological discipline and a vigorous defense of party rule.

In a televised speech on the 95th anniversary of the party's formation, Xi said history has proven correct the party's leadership of 1.3 billion people and that its stewardship remains essential for China to realize its "great rejuvenation."

Challenged by a slowing economy, Xi has made increasingly frequent appeals for ideological unity, a throwback stance that contrasts with recent Chinese leaders who emphasized delivering economic growth as continued justification for Communist rule.

Xi won the biggest applause when he warned foreign countries that China would never sacrifice its core interests, sovereignty, security or development plans.