Chinese President Xi Jinping said Saturday that national rejuvenation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people since the Opium War of 1840.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at a meeting marking the 110th anniversary of the Revolution of 1911.
After the Opium War of 1840, Western powers came to act with impunity on Chinese lands, and feudal rulers were rendered weak and ineffectual. Gradually, China was reduced to a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, Xi said.
With our country humiliated, our people subjected to great pain, and our civilization plunged into darkness, the Chinese people and nation suffered greater ravages than ever before. The heroic Chinese people, however, did not admit defeat. They kept fighting and exploring new ways to save the nation, and they demonstrated an unbending will and defiance in the face of brutality, he added.