Chinese Communist Party awards medals in run-up to anniversary

A giant screen broadcasts live footage of Chinese President Xi Jinping presenting the July 1 Medal to outstanding Party member Wang Shumao at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People, ahead of the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing, China June 29, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping urged Chinese Communist Party members to remain loyal and continue to serve the people, after awarding a new medal of the highest honour to 29 party members on Tuesday.

The party is marking the 100th year of its founding on Thursday, when Xi is expected to make a longer speech about its future.

The medal award ceremony took place in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People with much fanfare and was broadcast live on national television.

The “July 1 medal”, announced in 2017 and given out for the first time on Tuesday, is part of Xi’s efforts to shore up the image of the party.

Xi commended recipients and urged all party members to “firmly keep the loyalty and love for the party and the people close to one’s heart, turn that into action, dedicate everything, even your precious life, to the party and the people”.

The recipients included soldiers, community workers and professionals in the arts and science.

The party had 91.9 million members in 2019, or 6.6% of China’s population.

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