Chinese leader Xi Jinping secured a third term as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Sunday in Beijing, Chinese state-run media reported.
Xi was “elected” during the first plenary session on the last day of the 20th National Party Congress, according to state-run Xinhua News. The autocrat originally came to power during the 18th Party Congress in 2012 and was reelected during the 19th Party Congress in 2017.
China watchdog Gordon G. Chang took to Twitter and described the new roster of the CCP’s core leadership as representing a clear consolidation of Xi’s power.
“Xi Jinping, who will now not have to deal with opposing views, is going to take China into an even darker era,” Chang tweeted.
In addition to Xi, the other members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the CCP’s Central Committee were also announced during the same session and included Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang and Li Xi. (RELATED: China’s Last Leader Hu Jintao Physically Removed From Chinese Communist Party Congress)
The final session of the 20th Party Congress began with former general secretary Hu Jintao being physically removed from the Great Hall of the People by a masked usher, BBC News reported.
#Xi consolidates power ahead of his coronation by having his predecessor Hu Jintao forcibly removed from the #20thPartyCongress as thousands of #CCP delegates watch on in silence@DailyCallerhttps://t.co/RaXwCwyJC3
— Philip Lenczycki 蔡岳 (@LenczyckiPhilip) October 22, 2022
As rumors swirled online, Xinhua News released a message on Twitter claiming that Hu had been removed for health reasons.
“Xinhua reporter Liu Jiawen has learned that Hu Jintao insisted on attending the closing session of the Party’s 20th National Congress, despite the fact that he has been taking time to recuperate recently,” Xinhua tweeted. “When he was not feeling well during the session, his staff, for his health, accompanied him to a room next to the meeting venue for a rest. Now, he is much better.” (RELATED: ‘Use Of Force’: Xi Threatens Taiwan Invasion As Chinese Communist Party Congress Kicks Off)
However, several China watchdogs, including the co-director of the Chinese culture magazine New Threads, Fang Shimin, disputed Xinhua’s version of events, claiming that the masked usher who removed Hu was not a member of Hu’s staff, but rather Xi’s personal bodyguard.
— 方舟子 (@fangshimin) October 22, 2022
Deputy editor at Foreign Policy news, James Palmer, also disputed Xinhua’s official narrative, claiming that the man who assisted the masked usher in removing Hu was linked to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) which has enforced Xi’s wide-ranging purge campaign that thus far has led to more than 8.58 million arrests, according to the Global Times.
The Chinese Embassy did not respond immediately to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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