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Addressing a 70,000-strong crowd gathered at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to mark the centennial of the Chinese Communist Party on Thursday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping delivered a defiant speech that seemed aimed as much toward Washington as toward the millions of Chinese households watching on television.

“We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will,” declared Xi, who was dressed in a gray suit identical to the kind popularized by Mao Zedong. But, he continued, Chinese people “will never allow any foreign force to bully,…

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