The former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was ushered from his seat beside General Secretary Xi Jinping during the final session of the 20th National Congress Saturday.
A masked usher physically removed Hu Jintao from the Great Hall of the People as nearly 2,300 delegates and the global media watched on, video of the event shows. Hu served as CCP general secretary from 2002 to 2012 and is regarded as an elder statesman within the Communist Youth League — one of the CCP’s three intra-party “cliques,” which also include the Shanghai clique as well as Xi’s faction, the Tsinghua clique. (RELATED: China Announces Purge Of CCP Officials Ahead Of Elections)
Hu appeared visibly confused by the turn of events and, at first, physically resisted the usher, the video shows. Except for a brief, indiscernible exchange of words between the two leaders, Xi watched on in silence throughout the ordeal and continued to sit beside Hu’s empty chair throughout the remainder of the congress’s final session.
However, seated on the opposite side of Hu, Li Zhanshu, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, appeared uneasy and wiped sweat from his brow with a handkerchief as Hu was escorted out. (RELATED: ‘Use Of Force’: Xi Threatens Taiwan Invasion As Chinese Communist Party Congress Kicks Off)
Xi came to power during the 18th Party Congress in 2012 and was reelected during the 19th Party Congress in 2017. Over the last decade, Xi’s tenure has been marked by political purges, which have led to more than 8.58 million arrests, Chinese state-run media reported.
In the intervening years, Xi repealed a constitutionally mandated restriction barring leaders from serving more than two terms and theoretically may now be reelected for a third term at some point during the 20th Party Congress.
The Chinese Embassy did not respond immediately to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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