Xi Jinping bows before Mao's mummy, whilst people wave flags and sing the national anthem in churches (video)
With the People's Republic of China getting ready for its 70th anniversary, Xi this morning honoured the Monument of Heroes, in Tiananmen Square, scene of the 1989 massacre. A spectacular military parade will take place tomorrow with new, Made-in-China weapons on display. Symbols of the one-party state are shown at St Paul’s Church in Macau. The national flag is waved and anthem is sung in the cathedral in Heilongjiang.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Mao Zedong's mausoleum in Tiananmen Square this morning to pay tribute to the embalmed body of the "Great Helmsman" and the huge statue of the dictator.
According to Xinhua, Xi was accompanied by the other members of the Politburo Standing Committee – Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng – as well as Wang Qishan, Xi's great ally in the Party's internal struggles.
Xinhua reported that the leaders bowed three times as a sign of respect, but no pictures were released. Photos of Chinese leaders honouring Mao are rather rare.
The founder of the People's Republic of China, whose 70th anniversary is celebrated tomorrow, remains a controversial figure, given his responsibility in the death of some 50 million Chinese.
Later, Xi, his acolytes and 4,000 people later paid tribute to the Monument of Heroes, in the middle of Tiananmen Square, the same where, on the night of June 3-4, 1989, tanks crushed about 2,000 young people who, for months, had been demanding greater democracy and less corruption.
The area is closely guarded ahead of tomorrow’s military parade, which is expected to be the most spectacular of all time. China will showcase many of its new weapons in front of 188 military attachés from 98 countries.
In the meantime, the patriotic associations of all religions are pushing believers to show their patriotism by forcing them to sing the national anthem and hold a flag raising ceremony at every religious ceremony.
Macau has also showed its "patriotism" by illuminating the ancient St Paul’s Church with red light and the symbol of the one-party state (picture 2). A video from Heilongjiang shows the faithful waving Chinese flags during a service in the cathedral (see below).
The control exercised by the Party over official Churches is turning church leaders into state officials.