Internet rumours of Xi Jinping removed in coup, no official word from Beijing – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Internet, especially social media, was awash on Saturday with speculation that Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has ruled his country with absolute authority, had been deposed in a coup that began unfolding while he was away in Samarkand attending the SCO Summit beginning September 14.
There was no corroborative reporting from any reputed international news outlet, however, and the Chinese foreign ministry was silent. There were no reports on the subject from Chinese media either. Some websites said the rumours were unfounded and they were part of an anti-Xi conspiracy.
These rumours come before the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th National Congress on October 16 where Xi is expected to secure power for an unprecedented third term of five years.
Earlier this week, two former ministers had been sentenced to death for graft as part of Xi’s crackdown on corruption. But they were described in some reports as part of ananti-Xi political faction.
According to unverified posts on Twitter, the Chinese president had left Samarkand before the official closing ceremony only to be placed under house arrest on landing in Beijing on September 16. A news website quoted one ‘News Highland Vision’ as saying that former Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chinese ex-Premier
Wen Jiabao, along with former Standing Committee member Song Ping, now controlled the Central Guard Bureau (CGB), which protects members of the CPC’s central committee, and that Xi had been shorn of authority over the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
Twitter posts claimed Beijing airport had cancelled 6,000 international and domestic flights and that ticket sales for high-speed rail and high-speed trains themselves had been stopped. Other tweets described PLA vehicles moving towards Beijing on September 22. Some tweets displayed pictures from flight radar apps that showed zero aircraft activity over Beijing while others countered with app radar pictures of normal aviation activity.

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