Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday warned that foreign countries attempting to bully the nation will “get their heads bashed”, CNN reported. He was speaking at an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party.

In an hour-long address to a crowd of 70,000 in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Xi said the people of China would no longer allow foreign countries to bully, oppress or subjugate them. “Anyone who dares try to do that will have their heads bashed bloody against the Great Wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people,” the 68-year-old said, sparking thunderous applause from his party members in attendance.

The Chinese president said the country would welcome “helpful suggestions” from other governments, but would not accept “sanctimonious preaching”.

“No one should underestimate the great resolve, the strong will, and the extraordinary ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xi added.

He claimed the Communist Party had brought about “national rejuvenation” and “altered the landscape of world development”. He added that without his party there would be no new China.

“We are now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects,” the president continued.

His comments came at a time when China is facing severe global criticism for its clampdown in Hong Kong and treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

A survey by the Pew Research Center in the United States has also revealed that views about China have remained broadly negative and confidence in Xi was near historic lows, Reuters reported. “In all but one of the 17 public surveys, majorities said they have little or no confidence in him,” it said.