Chinese state media have finally taken action amid buzzing tittle-tattle over Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s absence from the public limelight.
On September 25, Xinhua News Agency reported that the Chinese Communist Party had chosen 2,296 delegates to attend the incoming National Congress. Xi is on the list.
While this further reasserted Xi’s attendance at the key political event, the news agency also highlighted that the election of delegates has been successful and that Xi Jinping is “at its core.”
As the first reminder for attendees, Xinhua—the mouthpiece of the Chinese regime—urged attendees to adhere to the guidance of Xi Jinping.
Also, on the same day, state-run People’s Daily released an editorial piece congratulating the delegates on their election. A phrase conjured up twice: “Comrade Xi Jinping at its [the Chinese Communist Party] core.”
The publication states, “It is firmly believed that under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and through the concerted efforts of all the delegates, the 20th CPC National Congress will be a congress of unity, victory and endeavor.”
Xi has not been seen in public since the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand on September 15 and 16. As the leader of China’s Central Military Commission, Xi missed its key seminar on September 21. This has sparked animated speculations on the internet.
Rumor has it that China has gone through a military coup, with a former commander of China’s Northern Theater Command taking over power, and Xi has been under house arrest.
However, many have noticed that Xi might have been away as he serves a mandatory quarantine break. Typically, those arriving from abroad will spend 7 days in hotel quarantine, plus three days of home isolation.
The hearsay of lost power surfaced while the country is facing a series of crises at home and abroad. China’s economy is in recession following lockdowns and other regulations. Internationally, countries are also more alert to China’s human rights records and the geopolitical tensions linked to it.