09/13/2012, 00.00
CHINA

Missing Xi Jinping reappears, even if not in person

After almost two weeks missing, the Guangxi Daily quotes him along with other Communist leaders recalling the late General Huang Rong. Willy Lam, "A sign from the top: nothing too bad happened to the vice president. But suspicions about his health remain. "

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Chinese media today returned to mentioning Vice President Xi Jinping, who had been missing since last September 1st to the point of cancelling at least four high level international meetings. His disappearance sparked a widespread speculation in China and in the world, with talk of a political purge in view of the next Communist Congress, or an accident provoked by a rival, or a routine hospitalization. All in the total silence of the media and party officials.

Today the Guangxi Daily published an article in which Xi, along with the rest of the Chinese leadership, commemorates General Huang Rong. The General, who died last September 6 at an age of 102, was one of the first companions of Mao Zedong during the campaign for the unification of China and the expulsion of the Japanese. In the article - republished on the official website of the Communist Party - says that Xi, Hu Jintao, the former premier Zhu Rongji and other leaders "have sent condolences" to the family of the deceased.

Willy Wo-lap Lam, Professor of History at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and one of the greatest experts of contemporary China, comments: " It is a sign by the top leadership to reassure the world that nothing excessively bad or disruptive has happened to Xi Jinping. Of course this doesn't allay people's suspicions about whether he will be a physically fit general secretary. "

Among the hypotheses ventilated after the disappearance of Xi was in fact a political move. Xi, 59, was designated as the successor to Hu Jintao to lead the country and the Party: the coronation of the new leader should take place, as usual, during the next Communist Party Congress scheduled for October. But Chinese leaders, obsessed by secrecy, have not yet announced the date: in these days there is a real battle between the various factions, trying to secure a prominent position in the "Fifth Generation".

Along with Xi,  He Guoqiang, head of the discipline of the Communist Party also reappeared.  He is a member of the Central Committee of the Politburo and has been absent from the scene since 31 August. Some Internet users argued that the two had had a car accident (deliberately provoked) and were hospitalized together. Yesterday, however, the national television showed He visiting one of the official propaganda newspapers.

 

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