VIDEO FOOTAGE: Clip shows moment Former Chinese leader, Hu Jintao, mysteriously escorted out of the Great Hall of the People ahead of an expected speech by President Xi at the end of the CCP's Party Congress KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Saturday, October 22, 2022

VIDEO FOOTAGE: Clip shows moment Former Chinese leader, Hu Jintao, mysteriously escorted out of the Great Hall of the People ahead of an expected speech by President Xi at the end of the CCP's Party Congress

Former Chinese leader Hu Jintao mysteriously escorted out of the Great Hall of the People ahead of an expected speech by President Xi at the end of the CCP's Party Congress. (Read More Here).

By now, it was clear that this was not part of the plan of what is usually a highly choreographed event.

As he was about to be escorted off the stage, Mr Hu said something to Mr Xi, who nodded. He also appeared to have said something to his protege, Premier Li Keqiang, who also nodded.

Mr Hu patted Mr Li’s shoulder as he left, as most of his party colleagues stared firmly ahead.

Mr Hu had attended the party congress as part of the presidium standing committee, the body that oversees the twice-a-decade congress. The 46-member committee comprises current leaders, as well as party leaders and retired senior officials.

China watchers pored over the 85-second-long footage, with some saying Mr Hu had been made to leave after a disagreement with Mr Xi.

The end of the party congress would reveal that top officials including current Premier Li Keqiang and Mr Wang Yang, who heads the top advisory body to China’s Parliament, would not be in the party’s new Central Committee.

Both men are seen to be part of the Communist Youth League faction, to which Mr Hu belongs.

Others say Mr Hu, who is rumoured to be in poor health, had perhaps left because he was unwell. But the debate underscores how Chinese elite politics have become opaque under Mr Xi, who has clamped down on leaks. Tidbits like this can offer rare insights into happenings within the party.

There has been no explanation for Mr Hu’s departure. No mention of the incident has appeared in Chinese media.

The official Xinhua News agency reported that Hu had “insisted” on attending the session even though he had been recuperating recently, according to its official Twitter account. His staff accompanied him to a separate room to rest after he felt unwell during the session and Hu is “much better” now, Xinhua said.

On China’s Twitter-like Weibo, the incident appeared to have been censored, with searches for Hu Jintao only returning posts published before the weekend on Saturday afternoon. While the platform’s top ten trending items were dominated by the congress, Hu’s early exit wasn’t among them.

Xi on Saturday moved closer to securing a precedent-defying third term in office by announcing a Central Committee featuring a host of his loyalists. That paves the way for him to consolidate control over the country’s most powerful positions when they are unveiled Sunday. Earlier on Saturday, the Central Committee of 205 senior party officials was elected. Delegates rubber-stamped amendments to the party's constitution endorsing Mr Xi's ideas as guiding principles for China's future.

In his opening speech at the Congress last Sunday, he hailed the crushing of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong as a move from "chaos to governance". He also reaffirmed China's right to use force to seize the self-ruled island of Taiwan.

Mr Xi currently combines the positions of general secretary of the Communist Party, president and head of the armed forces. He is also referred to as Paramount or Supreme leader.

On Sunday he is expected to be officially confirmed for a third term as general secretary and to unveil his new leadership team.

In 2018, he abolished the presidential two-term limit, paving the way for him to rule indefinitely.

The incident saw Xi turning toward Hu as he prepared to leave. Li Zhanshu, chair of the national legislature’s Standing Committee -- who was sitting on Hu’s other side -- tried to physically assist the former leader, until party secretariat chief Wang Huning gestured for him to stand down. 

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