Live Updates: China’s Xi Jinping has introduced the leaders of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party

The Communist Party’s five-yearly national convention is a carefully choreographed political event intended to demonstrate the party’s unity and legitimacy.

But there was a dramatic moment at the closing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People yesterday, when former Supreme Leader Hu Jintao unexpectedly walked out of the ceremony.

Hu, 79, was sitting prominently at the table on stage, next to his successor Xi Jinping, when a staff member approached him, according to images and videos of the meeting.

As he sat, Hu appeared to speak briefly with the male worker, while Li Zhanshu, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, sat on the other side with his hand on Hu’s back.

Hu then appeared to stand up with the help of the worker, who wrapped his arm around the former leader, while a second man approached. Hu spoke briefly with the two men and at first appeared eager to leave.

They were then escorted from their seats by two men, one holding his arm as the other members sat behind the head table looked on.

On the way out, he was waving to Hu Xi and saying something to the leader. He then patted Premier Li Keqiang on the shoulder. Both Xi and Li seem to have nodded in agreement; It was not clear what Xi was talking about.

The state media breaks the silence: The circumstances surrounding his departure were not immediately clear, and CNN was censored on air in China for reporting Hu’s departure.

The dramatic moment has not been reported in state-run Chinese-language media or discussed on Chinese social media, where such dialogue is highly restricted, but has sparked a storm of speculation abroad, with many analysts describing it as a public humiliation. it’s likely a power play.

China’s state news agency Xinhua finally broke the silence on Saturday night, writing on its English Twitter account that Hu “insisted on attending the closing session of the 20th National Party Congress, although he has taken time to recover recently.”
“When he was not feeling well during the session, his staff, for his health, went to rest in a room next to the meeting place. Now, it is much better,” Xinhua wrote.

The comment was attributed to a specific Xinhua reporter, a highly unusual move. Xinhua is the official government news agency, and news lines are usually provided by government departments, not independently sourced.

Twitter is also banned in China. So far, Xinhua has not released a statement on its website or Chinese-language social media.