BEIJING (AP) — President Xi Jinping vowed today to protect “every inch” of China’s territory, improve the lives of its people and promote the resurgence of Chinese culture and creativity as he kicked off his second term, poised to rule indefinitely.

Xi, China’s most powerful leader in decades, sounded a stark warning clearly directed at the government of self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its territory, and advocates of independence in the southern Chinese city of Hong Kong.

“Every inch of our great motherland absolutely cannot and absolutely will not be separated from China,” Xi declared in his speech before the nearly 3,000 members of the National People’s Congress.

“All acts and tricks to split the motherland are doomed to failure and will be condemned by the people and punished by history!” he said.

Xi is set to shape the country’s future for the coming decades after the historic legislative session that closed today abolished presidential term limits to allow him to rule for as long as he wants.



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