- Hu Jintao dragged out of Communist Congress just after foreign media came in
- Former president appeared disorientated as two assistants helped him to stand
- He then leaned down to speak to president Xi Jinping as official pulled his arm
- Speculation over if it was due to health or was deliberately orchestreated scene
- He has been ‘erased’ from Chinese social media with searches for him censored
China former leader Hu Jintao was forcibly removed from his seat next to President Xi Jinping at the televised Communist Party Congress today, before his name appeared to vanish from Chinese social media.
Hu Jintao was taken off stage shortly after foreign media came in to the Great Hall of the People, Beijing.
Search results for him on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, have appeared to be heavily censored since his hasty removal.
Late on Saturday, state media claimed Hu was ‘not feeling well’ when he was escorted out, but was doing ‘much better’ after getting some rest.
During the incident, the 79-year-old looked slightly disorientated as two assistants came to speak to him and reluctant to move in part of the clip.
Hu Jintao, 79, was taken off stage shortly after foreign media came in to the Great Hall of the People
The two assistants helped him stand, firstly trying to grab him under his arms.
Hu seemed downcast as he was dragged away, leaning down to speak to president Xi Jinping, 69, who nodded as one of the officials pulled his arm.
He also patted Premier Li Keqiang, seated to the right of Xi, on the shoulder.
The official seemed to be anxious to get him out of the room as he was then escorted out.
China’s top legislator Li Zhanshu, seated to Hu’s right, gave the former president’s folder to a steward, wiping his own head with a cloth after Hu finally stood up.
The 79-year-old appeared slightly disorientated as two assistants came to speak to him and reluctant to move in part of the clip
Former Chinese president Hu Jintao is assisted at his seat during the closing ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
The former Chinese leader preceded President Xi and had been in power between 2003 and 2013.
Speculation has been circulating about the incident, with some saying it was due to his health and others saying it was a deliberately orchestrated scene.
Some had noted that Hu Jintao seemed unsteady last Sunday when he was escorted on stage for the opening ceremony of the congress.
He seemed downcast as he was dragged away, leaning down to speak to president Xi Jinping, 69, as one of the officials pulled his arm
The official seemed to be anxious to get him out of the room as he was then escorted out
The congress lasts a week. It is expected that Xi Jinping will be announced as the president for a third term when the congress draws to a close tomorrow.
The Communist Party Congress is held in Beijing every five years and cemented Xi Jing Ping’s position as a powerful leader.
Jiang Zemin, 96, who was president before Mr Hu, did not appear at this congress.
The incident with Hu Jintao comes as China prepares for a leadership shuffle on Sunday.
Xi Jinping gestures to former President Hu Jintao during the opening ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
Chinese Premier Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the nation’s number two official and a chief proponent of economic reforms, is among four of the seven members of the nation’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee who will not be reappointed.
The departure of Li Keqiang will be seen as another affirmation of the Chinese president’s hold on power in the country.
And he was missing from the ruling Communist Party’s new 205-member Central Committee that was approved at the closing session of a week-long party congress, which set the leadership and agenda for the next five years.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, centre, bottom, and other senior members of the government applaud during the closing session of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
Xi Jinping raises his hand as he votes during the closing session of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
Delegates leave after the closing ceremony of the 20th National Congress of China’s ruling Communist Party at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
Only Central Committee members can serve on the Standing Committee.
Also at the party congress, an amendment of the party constitution which could further enhance Mr Xi’s stature as China’s leader was approved.
The amendment text was not immediately released but before its approval the reasoning was read out by an announcer.
This announcer mentioned Mr Xi and his accomplishments including strengthening the military, economy and reinforcing the party’s authority.
Mr Xi said that the revision of the amendment ‘sets out clear requirements for upholding and strengthening the party’s overall leadership’, in brief closing remarks.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) reads documents as stewards pour beverages during the closing ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
Attendees take photos during the closing ceremony of the 20th National Congress of China’s ruling Communist Party
It comes after the party elevated Mr Xi’s status at the previous congress in 2017 by enshrining his ideas, which they called Xi Jinping thought, in its charter.
Other Standing Committee members who were dropped were Shanghai party chief Han Zheng, party advisory body head Wang Yang, and Li Zhanshu.
Zhanshu was a longtime Xi ally and the head of the largely ceremonial National People’s Congress.
When the new Standing Committee is revealed tomorrow, Mr Xi is expected to keep the top spot.
epa10258354 Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attends the closing ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
A TV screen shows a live broadcast of the closing ceremony of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at a restaurant in Hong Kong, China
Li Keqiang will remain as premier for about six more months until a new slate of government ministers is named.
If he had remained on the Standing Committee, it would have indicated some possible pushback within the leadership against Mr Xi’s moves to expand state control over the economy, which analysts say is a drag on China’s growth.
But Mr Xi had already taken control of most aspects of government, leaving Mr Li largely sidelined.
Li’s departure was not a major surprise in the country.
The roughly 2,000 delegates to the party congress – wearing blue surgical masks under China’s strict zero-Covid policy – met in the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing.
Foreign media were not allowed into the first part of the meeting, presumably when the voting was taking place.
Who is Hu Jintao?
Hu Jintao was elected president of the People’s Republic of China on March 15, 2003.
He is now general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, president of the People’s Republic of China, chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Hu Jintao, a native of Jixi, Anhui Province, was born in December 1942. He joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in April 1964 and began to work in July 1965 after he graduated from the Water Conservancy Engineering Department of Tsinghua University, where he had a major in the study of hub hydropower stations. He is an engineer.
Hu began to work at the grassroots in west China’s Gansu Province in 1968 and stayed there until 1982 when he became a member of the Secretariat of the Communist Youth League of China Central Committee and president of the All-China Youth Federation.
Beginning in 1985, he was appointed, successively, secretary of the CPC Guizhou Provincial Committee and of the CPC Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee.
In 1992, 49-year-old Hu was elected member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee at the First Plenum of the 14th CPC Central Committee, which was then widely considered as an important step the CPC had taken toward generational transition of the central leadership.
From 1993 to the end of 2002, Hu was concurrently president of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, which has been the training base for senior CPC cadres and backbones of theoretical studies over the past 70 years.
In September 1997, Hu was re-elected member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee at the First Plenum of the 15th CPC Central Committee.
Hu became vice-president of China in March 1998 and vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission in September 1999.
In November 2002, Hu was elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee at the 16th National Congress of the CPC.
In March 2003, He was elected president of China at the First Session of the 10th National People’s Congress, the top legislature of the country.
Hu and his wife Liu Yongqing were schoolmates at Qinghua University. The couple have a son and a daughter, who are also graduates of Qinghua University.
Source: En people cn