Former Chinese supreme leader Hu Jintao was unexpectedly ejected Saturday from the closing ceremony of a major meeting of China’s ruling Communist Party.
Hu, 79, sat prominently at the table in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, right next to his successor and current leader, Xi Jinping. A video of the meeting shows.
While sitting, Mr. Hu appeared to be having a brief conversation with a male official, while Politburo Standing Committee member Li Zhanshu, who sat opposite him, put his hand on the chair behind Mr. Hu.
Hu then appeared to get up after being lifted by a staff member who grabbed the former leader’s arm before the Communist Party General Bureau’s deputy director and secretary general, Kong Xiaosang, arrived. Hu spoke briefly with the two men, but at first seemed reluctant to leave.
He was then escorted by two men and held in his arms by a staff member as other party members seated behind the main table watched. The circumstances surrounding Hu’s departure are not clear.
On his way out, Hu paused, appeared to say something to Xi, and patted Premier Li Keqiang on the shoulder. Both Xi and Li seemed to nod. It is unclear what President Xi said.
At one point, while Hu was still sitting, Xi appeared to put his hand on a document that Hu was trying to reach out for.
At another moment, after President Hu stood up and conversed with two men before leaving, Li Zhanshu appeared to try to get up from his seat, but Wang Huning, a fellow Politburo Standing Committee member, put on his suit jacket. was instructed to pull down the , sitting next to him.
Hu, who retired in 2013, has been seen in increasingly fragile public health in recent years. The broadcast was censored.
China’s elite politics are opaque, so the party is unlikely to give a public explanation for Hu’s sudden departure. This dramatic moment has not been reported anywhere in Chinese media, nor has it been discussed on Chinese social media. However, it has sparked a flurry of speculation abroad.
Hu’s resignation came after more than 2,000 delegates in Congress rubber-stamped the new members of the party’s elite Central Committee, after delegates urged them to endorse the party’s working report during a meeting open to journalists. Done before asked.
The newly announced 205 members of the Central Committee did not include Li Keqiang, who is seen as Hu’s backer, and fellow Standing Committee member Wang Yang. This means neither will retain a seat on the party’s highest decision-making body, the Standing Committee, but neither is at 67, a year shorter than the unofficial retirement age. Included in the list of committee members.
The Standing Committee line-up will be announced on Sunday, the day after Parliament closes. Xi, who is widely seen as consolidating power by eliminating rivals and weakening the influence of party elders, is expected to be reaffirmed as party leader and surrounded by allies in a move to break his norms. increase.