Xi was speaking at an event to mark the 75th anniversary of his country’s victory over Japan in World War 2. In it, he singled out possible threats to the Chinese Communist Party, which has ruled the People’s Republic of China since its inception in 1949.
He warned: “The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to separate the CCP and Chinese people, and to pitch them against each other.
“The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to distort the CCP’s history, and to vilify the CCP’s character and purpose.”
There was no specific mention of either the US or Donald Trump in his speech, ostensibly aimed at a domestic audience.
However, his remarks will be widely interpreted as a reference to tensions with Washington in a number of areas.
Beijing is deeply unhappy and ongoing freedom of movement exercises being undertaken by US naval ships in the South China Sea, the vast majority of which China claims sovereignty over.
In addition, China is locked in an ongoing and wide-ranging trade dispute with the US which has seen punitive lobbies slapped on billions of pounds of exports going in either direction.
China is also angry at ongoing contacts between the US and Taiwan, which it regards as part of its territory.
Xi’s speech, which was unusually combative by Chinese standards, underlines how seriously the superpower views the prospect of external interference.
In particular, Mike Pompeo, who regularly refers to the CCP, and not China, as a nation recent months, has been singled out for criticism.
Chinese officials also have threatened “consequences” to countries ranging from Czech Republic, whose speaker, Milos Vystrcil, visited Taiwan this week, to the UK for perceived provocations.
Chinese leaders have repeatedly emphasied the Communist Party’s ability to stand up to foreign aggression.
Xi has frequently sought to whip up nationalist sentiment as a way of consolidating his grasp on power.
On the subject of Taiwan, Tobias Ellwood MP, the chairman of the Defence Select Committee, told Express.co.uk yesterday: “I think the gloves have come off.
“I think it is very clear now that China is not maturing into this responsible, global stakeholder that we hoped they would be.
“They are now an economic powerhouse following their own rules.
“What we saw in Hong Kong is just a wake-up call for what we should anticipate happening in Taiwan if we ignore their advances.”
Earlier this week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing: “The one-China principle is the political basis and fundamental precondition for the establishment and development of China-US diplomatic ties.
“We urge the United States to abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiques, to stop lifting its substantial relationship with Taiwan and to cease any forms of official contact with Taiwan, so as not stray further down an erroneous path.”