Dictatorship Xi Jinping, with a cadre of close aides, Hu Jintao abruptly leaves office “The Truth of the Shudder” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Dictatorship Xi Jinping, with a cadre of close aides, Hu Jintao abruptly leaves office “The Truth of the Shudder”

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Hu addresses Xi with a stern expression just before leaving the meeting (Image: Reuters/Afro)

The sudden departure of former Chinese General Secretary Hu Jintao, 79, from his post has caused a stir.

The “incident” occurred on October 22. The closing ceremony of the Chinese Communist Party Congress was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Mr. Hu, showing signs of reluctance, was nudged by a staff member to leave the venue. He then gave a stern look to General Secretary Xi Jinping, 69, and patted Li Keqiang, another Communist Youth League member who is retiring from the top leadership, on the shoulder as if to congratulate him.

The Great Hall of the People was also the scene of cameras from media outlets around the world. Hu’s abrupt departure immediately caused an uproar at home and abroad. What was the cause? On the 22nd, the day of the closing ceremony, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency explained on its English-language Twitter page that “Hu was not in good health. It is likely that Hu’s advanced age (79 years old) was used as a reason to defuse the situation. However, from the video, Mr. Hu did not appear to be in poor health,” said a reporter from the international section of a national newspaper.

The contents of the document with the red cover

A staff member takes away a document with a red cover from Hu (Image: Reuters/Afro)

The video shows that the red-covered document in front of Mr. Hu is the key point.

First, Kurihara, sitting to Mr. Hu’s right, tries to take the red document away from him. Mr. Hu rebuffs him. Then Mr. Xi, sitting to his left, instructed a staff member to do something. Mr. Hu, looking indignant, tries to take another document placed in front of Mr. Xi. The staff member stopped him, and Mr. Hu was asked to leave the room.

What is the background to the exchange captured in the video? Chinese journalist Zhou Laiyu explains.

The documents in front of Mr. Hu and Mr. Xi may have different contents. Hu’s document contained a personnel plan for Li Keqiang and Wang Yang, who are from the Communist Youth League and share the same lineage as himself, to remain in the leadership. This was to prevent any backlash from Hu before the opening ceremony.

In reality, however, Mr. Li and Mr. Wang stepped down, and the leadership team was solidified by Mr. Xi’s close associates. A disgruntled Mr. Hu tried to compare the documents placed before him with those of Mr. Xi. He may have been forced to leave the room by a staff member who stopped him.”

Indeed, looking back on the situation, Hu’s frustration is understandable: according to an October 28 report in the Sankei Shimbun, a balanced personnel plan was presented at the Beijihe Conference, a gathering of party leaders, Hu, and other elders in August of this year, in which Li and Wang were to remain in office. However, at the recent Communist Party of China (CPC) congress, the situation took a sudden turn. Li and Wang are said to have voluntarily stepped down, but it appears that the personnel plan was changed without Hu’s knowledge.

Mr. Xi makes decisions on important matters without listening to the opinions of groups that he has distanced himself from. With the establishment of a dictatorship, there is a fear that he will lose control of the situation.

Hu looked dissatisfied when a staff member asked him to leave the room (Image: Reuters/Afro)
Hu taps Li, who is also a member of the Communist Youth League, on the shoulder as he leaves (Image: Reuters/Afro)
The closing ceremony proceeded with Hu’s seat left empty (Image: Reuters/Afro)
  • Photo Reuters/Afro

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