New Delhi: During the closing ceremony of the 20th Communist Party Congress in China Saturday, former Chinese president Hu Jintao was abruptly escorted out of the great hall.
In an AFP video clip, the 79-year-old was seen sitting on incumbent President Xi Jinping’s left. Jintao is then unexpectedly led out of the main auditorium of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing by two stewards.
Jintao is Xi Jinping’s immediate predecessor and had retired in 2013.
Reuters reported that the former president looked “distressed” and that he also resisted being escorted out of the ceremony. Video footage showed him talking to Xi while leaving and also to Premier Li Keqiang who was seated to the president’s right.
The stewards in the footage can be seen trying to usher Jintao out of his chair while other officials look on.
According to the Reuters report, he had appeared unsteady at the opening ceremony of the Congress last Sunday. So far, no explanation has been given for his mysterious Saturday exit.
The Communist party meeting, which takes place every five years, concluded this year with amendments made to the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) constitution. The Strait Times reported that around 2,300 members of the party Saturday voted for the key changes in the CPC’s charter after the week-long meeting, further strengthening Xi’s position.
Official state media agency Xinhua reported that 200 senior officials were elected Saturday as part of the new central committee but the list is still under wraps.
In 2017, during the last party meet, the key document of the ruling party was amended to include Xi Jinping’s political ideology — “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”. The 69-year-old is the only leader apart from Mao Zedong to have got his political ideology added in the party constitution while holding office.
Among the significant changes in the charter is the incorporation of the term “two establishments” (liangge queli), a reference to making Xi Jinping the party core and his ideals the CPC’s guiding principles.
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