China: communist party turns 90, leader warns of "corruption and risks"


Singers perform during a gala show to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the Great Hall of the People on June 28, 2011, in Beijing, China.


Feng Li

Celebrations are taking place across China Friday as people mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Tourists have gone to the caves where Mao Zedong and his followers began their guerrilla war in the country's northwest, Australia's ABC News reports. Tourists there are visiting the mud cave houses where Mao lived, and they are watching and performing in recreations of the civil war.

"We are here to pay our tribute to the CCP, and to mark its anniversary on July first, we have renewed our vows of faith and fidelity. We will integrate our learning here with our work and life," a tourist told ABC News.

(More from GlobalPost: Video: Welcome to fake China)

Meanwhile, Chinese President Hu Jintao used the anniversary to warn the party in a speech that it faces "growing pains" and the possible erosion of public support.

"The entire party must clearly see that, with the deep changes in the world, national and party situations, we face many new problems and challenges to improve the party's leadership and rule and to strengthen the ability to resist corruption and risks," Hu said while delivering the speech from the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

He said there will be challenges ahead as the party tries to balance economic openness and political rigidity.

The biggest threat to the party, he said, is corruption.

"Corruption will cost the party the support and trust of the people," he said.

Hu also said the party's ability to adapt made the country affluent and powerful, AP states.

"In some historical periods, we once made mistakes and even suffered severe setbacks, the root cause of which was that our guiding thought then was divorced from China's reality. Our party managed to correct the mistakes by the strength of itself and the people, rose up amid the setbacks and continued to go forward victoriously," Hu said.

While warning of future challenges, the party has also launched a "propaganda blitz" to encourage nostalgia for China's Community past, AFP states.

Analysts say the campaign is an effort to conceal the party's insecurities.