Xi praises Marxism as a tool for China to ‘win the future’

China’s President Xi Jinping hails Karl Marx – ‘the father of Communism’ – as ‘the greatest thinker of modern times’

  • China commemorated the bicentennial of Karl Marx during a conference at the Great Hall of the People 
  • President Xi said Marx, known as ‘the father of Communism’ was the greatest thinker of modern times
  • During a speech to senior officials, President Xi also praised Marxism as a tool for China to ‘win the future’

China today commemorated the 200th anniversary of the birth a German philosopher who has been billed as ‘the father of Communism’.

A conference attended by China’s President Xi Jinping was held in Beijing to celebrate the ideology of Karl Marx, known as Marxism, reported state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed Karl Marx as ‘the greatest thinker of modern times’ in a speech during the conference, which is seen as part of an effort so shore up his power against domestic critics.

Chinese President Xi Jinping adjusts his clothing during an event to mark the bicentennial of Karl Marx’s birth in Beijing today

Participants stand as The Internationale anthem is played at conference to mark the bicentennial of Karl Marx’s birth

Participants clap during the conference to mark the bicentennial of Karl Marx’s birth at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

Xi’s address at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing was one of a series of events in China marking the bicentennial of the philosopher-economist’s birth on May 5, 1818, in Germany.

‘We must win the advantages, win the initiative, and win the future. We must continuously improve the ability to use Marxism to analyse and solve practical problems,’ Xi said beneath a massive portrait of the white-bearded Marx on a stage bedecked with scarlet and gold curtains.

‘Today, we commemorate Marx in order to pay tribute to the greatest thinker in the history of mankind and also to declare our firm belief in the scientific truth of Marxism,’ he said.

President Xi praised Karl Marx as ‘the greatest thinker of modern times,’ calling his theories a tool for China to ‘win the future’

An attendee takes a photo of the stage where a giant portrait of Karl Marx is hung to mark the bicentennial of Marx’s birth

A security person stands on duty as participants file out of the important event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing today

A camera screen displays Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking on the podium held to celebrate Karl Marx’s ideology

Promoting Marx is seen in part as a way for Xi to strengthen ideological control and counter critics within the ruling Communist Party unhappy with his move in March to eliminate presidential term limits. Xi is also general secretary of the ruling Communist Party, an official that is also not term-limited.

Marx’s work became the inspiration for communism, an ideology that aims for shared ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes.

China launched market reforms three decades ago but the party keeps an iron grip on power.

President Xi said: ‘We must continuously improve the ability to use Marxism to analyse and solve practical problems’

Security personnel look over during the event to mark the bicentennial of Karl Marx’s birth at the Great Hall of the People

Paramilitary policemen prepare to leave after attending the event which took place in the heart of capital city Beijing

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