Chinese President Xi Jinping has begun talking about a new 100-year anniversary: the year 2027, which marks the centennial of the founding of the People's Liberation Army. At a recent key meeting of the Chinese Communist Party, the milestone abruptly appeared, marked as a year toward which military development should be targeted. Many in China believe the political meaning is significant. China has long had two centennial goals.
The party came into being in 1921, and in 1949 a Communist-led country, the People's Republic of China, was established. To mark the 100th anniversaries of these two dates, the party has set goals to be met by 2021 and 2049.
By 2021, the goal is to "build a moderately prosperous society in all respects." This means, according to the official Xinhua News Agency, making sure China's development improves the lives of all its people, particularly those who are below or near the country's poverty line. By 2049, the goal is to "build a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious." In Xi Jinping's parlance, that roughly translates to the time China returns to its rightful status as the center of the world, after over a century of bowing to the demands of Western powers.