Rumors of “house arrest” stopped as President Xi Jinping attends an exhibition in Beijing, ahead of a summit of the ruling Communist Party.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited an exhibition in Beijing on Tuesday, according to state TV, in his first public appearance since returning to China from an official trip to Central Asia in mid-September — to dispel unverified rumors that he is under house arrest.
Xi has been absent from the public eye since returning to China from a summit in Uzbekistan, fueling baseless speculation of military coups in Beijing.
Despite a moribund economy, the COVID-19 pandemic and rare public protests, as well as growing frictions with the West and tensions over Taiwan, Xi is well positioned to secure a third term in power to pursue his grand vision of “Chinese rejuvenation.” nation” for years to come.
Xi has steadily consolidated his power and removed the space for dissent and dissent since becoming the party’s general secretary a decade ago. China has also become more assertive on the world stage as an alternative leader to the US-led post-World War II order.
The 69-year-old leader’s ascent to a third five-year term, and possibly more, was marked in 2018 when he scrapped the limit of two presidential terms.
Xi’s decade-long rule in power has seen crackdowns on corruption within the party – although observers have said they have worked to stamp out political rivals, a series of moves to crush a pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, and a tough coronavirus lockdown on cities. curb the spread.
Xi has also faced harsh human rights criticism from the international community over repressive policies in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, which has seen the detention of an estimated one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a sweeping crackdown ostensibly targeting “terrorism.”
Before the once every five-year meeting of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), on October 16, at which Xi is widely expected to secure his third term as leader, top officials have been purged. Former Deputy Minister of Public Security Sun Lijun, former Minister of Justice Fu Zhenhua, and former police chiefs of Shanghai, Chongqing and Shanxi have been arrested on corruption charges.
The arrests amounted to the largest political purge in China in years.
On Sunday, official media announced a list of 2,300 delegates from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Xi’s name on the list debunked social media rumors of a military coup in Beijing, which were fueled by previously unobtained videos of military vehicles and flight cancellations.
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