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Chinese Communist Party dispel rumours of Xi Jingping's removal as it published list of invited delegates for leadership summit

Chinese Communist Party dispel rumours of Xi Jingping's removal as it published list of invited delegates for leadership summit

Swiftly debunked rumours of coups swirled last week, with some even suggesting that the president had been placed under house arrest

The ruling Chinese Communist Party has moved quickly to dispel rumours that leader Xi Jinping has been removed from his position, following some suggestions of a coup attempt online.

Amid further speculation that the President of China had been placed under house arrest, the party's publication of next month's landmark summit guest-list has all-but-extinguished such rumours.

The leadership summit, which takes place only twice a decade, is expected to see Xi granted an unprecedented third term as the nation's leader.

The list of delegates invited to the 20th 'Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party' (which takes place on 16 October) includes 2,296 names, Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.

In an editorial, the People’s Daily newspaper urged delegates on Monday to closely align behind Xi Jinping as the 'core of the party'.

Xi Jinping hasn't made a public appearance for over a month.
Alamy stock photo

The newspaper printed: “It is firmly believed that under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and through the concerted efforts of all the delegates, the 20th CPC National Congress will be a congress of unity, victory and endeavor."

Their emphatic response shows just how widespread rumours were surrounding Xi's position as leader.

It all began with the jailing of several senior security officials for corruption earlier this month, with piqued the interest of many onlookers and regional experts.

The plot thickened soon after when a Weibo hashtag started to trend, as it pointed out 'airports across the country' were cancelling flights.

Alongside rumours him being put under house arrests, others speculated that perhaps he was suffering from Covid-19, as the 69-year-old hasn't been seen publicly since his trip to Kazakhstan last month.

Drew Thompson, a scholar with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, wrote in a Tweet that a coup in China wasn’t entirely implausible, and Xi had reportedly shown concern about the prospect in the past - but the weekend’s rumours looked more like 'wishful thinking'.

The gossip appeared to originate from accounts associated with the 'Falun Gong' movement, who Thompson claims are 'essentially not credible.'

He added: “The rumour that Xi Jinping has been arrested has legs because it is such a sensitive political moment in China, and the recent trials (and convictions) of long-serving senior officials creates a hothouse atmosphere."

Regional analyst Neil Thomas also moved to downplay any suggestion of a coup attempt before the summit gets underway.

Thomas wrote: “We expect more rumors about Xi’s position ahead of the congress, but they are likely to be unfounded, unless they lead quickly to visible changes in personnel, propaganda, or policy making that challenge Xi’s leadership or agenda."

The party congress, which will take place in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, is the most important date on the CCP’s five-year political cycle. There is speculation that party will resurrect the “people’s leader' title not used since the days of Mao Zedong - the CCP's first ever leader.

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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: China, World News, Politics