At the closing ceremony of the CCP’s 20th National Congress, former Party leader Hu Jintao was suddenly forced to leave in the middle of the meeting, attracting the attention of the outside world. Song Ping, another CCP official, has caught the attention of the public in a different way.

Song Ping, 105 years old, had fallen asleep during the conference. His head was bowed, his eyes closed, his mouth slightly agape and did not have the document before him open. Even when Hu left the meeting, Song’s posture did not seem to change. 

Earlier, there were many political rumors that Song’s rare appearance before the 20th National Congress was a big move to support the anti-Xi faction. However, the fact that Song was unable to put on a show at the congress broke the illusion placed on him by the outside world.

Professor Wu Guoguang, a senior researcher at Stanford University, said in an interview with France’s RFI that many rumors are indeed creating hope, hope for the CCP without Xi Jinping.

Wu also mentioned rumors about Song being against Xi. But according to Wu it doesn’t make much sense. He said that younger, stronger men could oppose Xi but don’t look for help “from a 105-year-old man, to save the Party and save them. Even if the 105-year-old man has that ability, the person he saved is not you, but his grandson.”

In addition, two days after the end of the congress, speculations about why Hu being forced to leave the conference continued to spread.

Britain’s BBC commented that the moment Hu left was remarkable. Hu also attended the closed session before, and then he was suddenly taken away midway through the congress, shortly after reporters were allowed into the hall to report.

The New York Times reported that, like many other events in CCP politics, the truth may never be revealed. However, this incident may be hinting at something.

The BBC reported that there were two reasons why Hu left the meeting. One is that he has serious health problems, the other is that those in power used this to point out to leaders that the old era is over.

However, economic and political scholar He Qinglian disagreed with speculation that Hu was ordered to leave by Xi. She posted on Twitter that a person’s character is difficult to change. When Hu was in power, he was always very cautious, for fear of doing something wrong. Now that he is not in power, he will have to work hard to get what he wants. Hu handed over all his posts, especially the important position of chairman of the Central Military Commission to Xi, which facilitated Xi’s power later. Xi always kept this ‘blessing’ in mind. He believed that because of poor health, Hu had to leave the conference early.

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