23 February 2018
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  • » 09/12/2012, 00.00

    CHINA

    Mystery still surrounds the fate of Xi Jinping who may be nursing a back injury



    Sources near the Communist leadership are saying that the vice president is in hospital for a minor back problem caused by "swimming". On micro blogging websites, speculation abound about the "crown prince," term used to get around Chinese censorship. Government spokespersons refuse to answer media questions.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The absence of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping from various public events continues to raise questions in China and abroad. Since his last public appearance on 1 September, he has cancelled a number of high-level meetings including one with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. According to some, he is nursing an ailment, possibly a back injury suffered while swimming. Meanwhile, the wall of silence by Chinese media and government officials continues.

    At a regular press brief with foreign media, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei did not answer questions about Xi's conditions.

    When asked whether Xi was alive, spokesman Hong answered, "I hope you can ask a serious question."

    However, he did not elaborate on the sudden and unexpected absence of China's presumptive future president.

    One source close to the Beijing leadership said, "Xi injured his back when he went for his daily swim." Another said the same. But both spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Popular micro blogging site Sina Weibo, used by hundreds of millions of Chinese, blocked searches for Xi's name, as is common with top leaders, but users as usual found ways to skirt the restrictions, referring to Xi as "the crown prince". Hundreds of users posted messages about him, mostly speculation.

    Secrecy and silence have the hallmark of the Communist regime since it was established. Chinese leaders live in the Zhongnanhai compound, a forbidding and inaccessible area of Beijing, which they almost never leave.

    Each meeting, speech or appointment is vetted by censors, affected government departments and then the media, all of which are under party control.

    Xi's most recent public appearance was at a ceremony at the Communist Party's Central Party School in Beijing on 1 September. Since then, he has cancelled four meetings with foreign officials without an explanation.

    Some analysts believe his absence is connected to the upcoming 18th party congress that should mark the rise of the fifth generation of leaders.

    Succession and power struggles within the central committee of the Politburo, the real centre of power in China, have already been shaken by the scandal involving Bo Xilai and his wife, as well as tensions between the party's many factions, so much so that the date of party congress has not yet been decided.

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    See also

    27/09/2013 CHINA
    Xi Jinping re-launches Maoist" self-criticism” greeted with irony online
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    25/07/2008 NEPAL
    Nepali nationalists call for vice-president’s resignation
    A day after the vice-president’s oath of office, protests continue against Paramananda Jha because he made his inaugural address in Hindi and wore traditional Indian clothes. The leader of the Communist Party (Maoist) sets conditions for forming national unity government.

    02/08/2016 17:58:00 CHINA
    Lobby of intellectuals calls for more freedom. Tripping up Xi Jinping's rivals

    As the next Party Congress approaches, conflicts between the Xi line and that of the liberals, the Youth League, the Shanghai Gang, are apparent in mainstream media. Meanwhile Xi maintains his grip on absolute power, just like Mao. An expert analysis by Willy Lam, on Chinese politics and society courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.



    15/11/2017 16:13:00 CHINA
    Xi Jinping’s new era begins with scholars reduced to silence

    Guizhou University cancelled the classes of Prof Yang Shaozheng, who was told to “keep my mouth shut and not make any kind of political statements." Fearing Chinese retaliation, publisher withdraws a book by Australian scholar Clive Hamilton. To avoid ending up like the USRR, Xi will brook no criticism. Conferences across the country outline Party congress goals.



    28/10/2017 10:04:00 CHINA
    Bao Tong: Nothing new about Xi Jinping era

    The lack of a designated successor to Xi: It is not necessary for a republic, but China is not a "genuine one". The idea of ​​the Party at the center is an old one. The only novelty would be an absence of praise and Xi’s acceptance of criticism.





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