China chief Xi Jinping urges Communist Celebration to ‘win hearts and minds’ in Taiwan, Hong Kong

China leader Xi Jinping urges Communist Party to 'win hearts and minds' in Taiwan, Hong Kong

Xi’s demand, made over the weekend in a meeting attended by top Chinese officials, was one of a number of critical tasks listed by the Chinese leader for the United Front Work Department — a branch of the ruling Communist Party tasked with gaining influence both at home and overseas.

“The united front … is an important assurance for (China’s Communist Party) to defeat the enemy, to govern and rejuvenate the country, and to rally all Chinese people both at home and abroad to realize national rejuvenation,” Xi said at the Beijing conference on United Front Work, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

As “profound changes” unseen in a century were playing out globally, Xi said, United Front efforts were “even more important.” That work, according to Xi, should include efforts to “strike the right balance between commonality and diversity” at home and “win hearts and minds of people in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese.”

Hong Kong — the subject of a crackdown…