Former Chinese President Hu ushered out the Congress of the Communist Party | news

The departure of 79-year-old Hu Jintao remained unclear as he appeared reluctant to leave while sitting next to President Xi Jinping.

Former Chinese President Hu Jintao was unexpectedly ushered out of the closing ceremony of Saturday’s Communist Party Congress in a dramatic moment that disrupted the highly choreographed event.

No official comment was made on Hu’s ouster as the nation’s censors appear to have been quick to remove all recent references to him from the internet.

The frail-looking 79-year-old appeared reluctant to leave the front row of negotiations at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, where he sat next to President Xi Jinping.

A steward tried to grab a seated Hu by the arm before he was shaken off. The steward then tried to pull Hu out from under his armpits with both hands.

Former Chinese President Hu Jintao leaves his seat next to Chinese President Xi Jinping during the closing ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 22 October 2022
There was no official comment as to why Hu left the case [Tingshu Wang/Reuters]

After an exchange of about a minute, in which Hu spoke briefly with Xi and Premier Li Keqiang, he was led out of the room.

A seated Xi was filmed holding down papers on the desk as Hu tried to grab them.

Hu patted Li on the shoulder as he left while most of his colleagues stared ahead.

The week-long convention was mostly held behind closed doors, but Hu’s departure came shortly after journalists were let in to cover the closing ceremony.

reason unknown

Authorities offered no explanation for Hu’s departure, which came just before the 2,300 congressional delegates voted unanimously to support Xi’s “core” leadership position.

“We still don’t know what caused Hu’s actions, for example whether it was opposition to Xi’s power or simply an ill-timed senior moment,” said Neil Thomas, a senior China analyst at consultancy Eurasia Group, loudly the AFP news agency.

“Thus, without further information, it is difficult to draw any solid conclusions on how this incident relates to Chinese politics.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang depart the closing ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 22, 2022
Premier Li Keqiang and Chinese President Xi Jinping exit the Great Hall of the People at the end of the closing ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China, October 22, 2022 [Tingshu Wang/Reuters]

Search results for “Hu Jintao” on the Twitter-like Weibo platform appeared to have been heavily censored Saturday afternoon, with the most recent result dated Friday and posts limited to those from official accounts.

Meanwhile, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the nation’s second-highest official, was among four of the seven members of the nation’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee who will not be reappointed in a leadership change on Sunday.

Li and three others were absent from the ruling Communist Party’s new 205-member Central Committee, which was approved at the final session of a week-long party congress that set the leadership and agenda for the next five years.

Only members of the Central Committee may serve on the Standing Committee.

Xi is all but certain to be formally appointed party general secretary for another five years on Sunday, which will also allow him to become president for a third straight term.

In replacing Hu ten years ago, Xi has been China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao Zedong.

Xi has crushed opposition to his rule within the party, with many of his rivals jailed on corruption charges, and has shown zero tolerance for any form of public dissent.



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