Former Chinese leader Hu Jintao escorted out of party congress – POLITICO

Former Chinese President Hu Jintao was unexpectedly escorted out of the closing ceremony of the Communist Party Congress in Beijing on Saturday as the rally reaffirmed President Xi Jinping’s continued dominance in running the country.

Hu, 79, was sitting next to the current Xi when he was approached by a steward who repeatedly tried to lift him from his seat, according to media reports. Video captured by AFP shows Hu then being escorted by two officials. As he left, Hu exchanged a few words with Xi and patted Premier Li Keqiang, who was seated to Xi’s right, on the shoulder.

No explanation was given for his departure, with some analysts speculating that Hu has serious health issues. According to Reuters, Hu had already appeared slightly unstable during the opening ceremony last Sunday.

As the week-long congress, taking place in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, draws to a close, the Communist Party is expected to confirm Xi, 69, for an unprecedented third five-year term.

The congress effectively removed four of the seven top executives, including Premier Li, the country’s second-highest official, the Associated Press reported. He also enshrined Xi’s major policy initiatives on the economy and the military in the party’s constitution, the AP said.


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