China’s Communist Party celebrated its 95th anniversary on Friday as Hong Kong marked the 19th anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty from British rule.

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The day was marked with a gathering in the morning at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, with a speech from President Xi Jinping, which was live-streamed by many Chinese media outlets.

“All Party members must maintain the original intention and continue to go forward to achieve [it] for our people,” CCTV quoted Xi as saying.

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The gathering at the Great Hall of the People. Photo: Screenshot.

Many braved the crowds to attend the flag-raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square in Beijing early Friday morning.

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Ceremony at Tiananmen Square. Photo: Weibo.

One Weibo user said: “The singing of ‘Ode to the Motherland’ on the square led to a surge of emotion….Happy Founding Festival.”

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The flag-raising ceremony on Tiananmen Square. Photo: Weibo.

The government also announced a fine art exhibition at the National Museum of China in commemoration of the founding of the party, with paintings, lithographs, sculptures, caricatures and other mixed-media works marking historic moments such as “showing Chinese Communist Party members striving for independence during wartime, and achieving new goals afterwards.”

The Xinhua news agency released a short film on Monday in honour of the anniversary, depicting Party heros like Lei Feng, a soldier who, after his death, is often upheld as an ideal member of Chinese society in party propaganda.

“For a person, 95 years is a very long time, but to a Party, which is ahead of the times, it is its prime. Our dreams, and those of our fathers, are in the distance,” Xinhua quoted the narrator as saying at the end of the film.

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.