Last Updated on October 24, 2022
Former general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Hu Jintao, was forcibly escorted out of the 20th Chinese Communist Party National Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing by Kong Shaoxun, the deputy director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, moments before the de-facto Emperor of China, Xi Jingping, was re-elected to another five-year term on Saturday.
At the first plenary session of the CCP’s 20th Central Committee on Sunday, Xi hinted at his intraparty purges that have made him the most authoritarian leader of China since Mao Zedong.
“Driven by a strong sense of mission, we have resolved to offend a few thousand rather than fail 1.4 billion and to clear out the party of all its ills. We’ve used a combination of measures to take out tigers, swat flies, and hunt down foxes, punishing corrupt officials of all types,” Xi said.
A video shows that Jintao was involuntarily escorted from the auditorium during the last day of congress on Saturday.
He refused assistance from a CCP aid and attempted to pick up a document on the table, an action which the paramount leader of China stopped by when he placed his hand on the document.
Another high-ranking CCP member to the left of Jintao was seen almost getting up from his seat before his companion next to him tapped him on the back to sit back down.
Former general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Hu Jintao, was forcibly escorted out of the Chinese congress by Kong Shaoxun, the Deputy Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee on Saturday at the Party Congress. pic.twitter.com/RfiaboP8Yg
— Addy Adds (@OneAddyAdds) October 23, 2022
China state-affiliated media outlet, China Xinhua News, released a statement about the incident on Saturday.
“Xinhuanet reporter Liu Jiawan has learned that Hu Jintao insisted on attending the closing session of the Party’s 20 National Congress, despite the fact that he has been taking time to recuperate recently,” Xinhua wrote in a tweet.
“When he was not feeling well during the session, his staff, for his health, accompanied him to a room next to the meeting venue for a rest. Now, he is much better,” the CCP-controlled media outlet stated.
When he was not feeling well during the session, his staff, for his health, accompanied him to a room next to the meeting venue for a rest. Now, he is much better.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) October 22, 2022
Admiral Michael Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), spoke at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council on Wednesday and discussed the threat that China poses with regard to Taiwan,” Admiral Gilday said. “Based on what we’re seeing from an increasingly violent China and Russia: We have our eyes on preparing ourselves for a potential fight tonight. That could happen at any time.”
“It’s not just what President Xi says. It’s how the Chinese behave and what they do. And what we’ve seen over the past 20 years is that they have delivered on every promise they’ve made earlier than when they said they were going to,” CNO Gilday said. “So when we talk about the 2027 window in my mind, that has to be a 2022 window or potentially a 2023 window. I can’t rule that out. I don’t mean at all to be alarmist by saying that. It’s just that we can’t wish that away.”
“The path to a hybrid fleet in the mid to late 2030s and into the 2040s, we’re really setting that path now,” Gilday added. “The air wing of the future is eventually going to be, we think, 60 percent unmanned and 40 percent manned.”
Admiral Gilday discussed a new piece of weapons technology that is set to be tested in 2023.
“[The] XLUUV, is really the world’s first undersea autonomous diesel submarine with a clandestine mine delivery capability. The vendor is actually building that prototype for us that will go into the water in calendar year 23, that particular platform,” the Naval Chief explained.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, stated that “the US needs to be fully aware of the extreme importance and highly sensitive nature of the Taiwan question.”
“Let me stress that the Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair that brooks no interference from any external force. We firmly oppose U.S. moves of manipulating Taiwan-related issues to stoke confrontation in the region. We believe that wise and sound judgement will prevail among relevant countries and peoples who will decide for themselves what best serves their own interests,” Wang added.
Xi Jinping spoke about Taiwan at the first plenary session of the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
“Taiwan is China’s Taiwan. Resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese, a matter that must be resolved by the Chinese. We will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but we will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary,” the emperor stated.
Xi also mentioned the evolution of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the armed wing of the CCP and the PRC’s military.
“We have set the party’s goal of building a strong military in the new era. We have implemented the party’s thinking on strengthening the military for the new era, following the military strategies for the new era, and upheld absolute party leadership over the people’s Armed Forces,” Xi said. “The people’s Armed Forces now boast new systems, a new structure, a new configuration, and a new look.”
White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby addressed the media on Thursday.
“There is no reason for this to erupt into conflict. Nothing has changed about our approach to Taiwan, our adherence to the One China policy. Nothing has changed about the fact that we’re going to look for ways to help Taiwan in its self-defense capabilities. That work will continue,” Kirby said.
American University Assistant Professor of Sociology, Yang Zhang, who focuses on China, gave his take on the development.
“What we just saw was the making of an All Xi’s Men team, the breaking of decade-long rules, and the birth of an unlimited supreme leader. These are not entirely surprising, but Xi’s grab of power is still beyond our expectation. He is now a truly modern emperor,” Zhang said.
What we just saw was the making of an All Xi's Men team, the breaking of decade-long rules, and the birth of an unlimited supreme leader. These are not entirely surprising, but Xi's grab of power is still beyond our expectation. He is now a truly modern emperor. 1/ pic.twitter.com/illuRHhWAX
— Yang Zhang (@ProfYangZhang) October 22, 2022
“Xi will rule China for not one but at least two and likely three terms (15 years). He is ‘only’ 69 years old; Mao ruled China until his death at 83 and Deng kept CMC Chair until 1989 when he was 85. So don’t expect Xi to retire before 2037. Xi’s power apex just started, today,” Professor Zhang contended.
“The rule of age limit is gone, completely. Xi simply showcased his unlimited power by breaking the age limit rule,” he added.
As for an heir apparent, the American University China analyst stated that it is too early for the emperor to do so.
“Xi is too ‘young’ to pick up a successor. His ministers have no interest in suggesting one. Potential candidates dare not imply it,” Zhang said.
The congress is held twice-a-decade and in total, 2,295 CCP delegates were elected to represent the some 96 million party members.
Geopolitical analysts and politicians alike shared their take on the historic event, as the move by Xi could be a harbinger of his greater strategic plans for the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
“China is going to move on Taiwan. China will stop exports to the US on which we depend. Many Americans will start dying almost instantly when medical supplies stop flowing,” Matt Stoller of the American Economic Liberties Project said. “This is terrifying and it’s going to happen.”
“It is clear that Xi controls the Party Congress and wanted to show his muscles to the world by humiliating Hu Jintao in front of the foreign press,” Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said.
“A Xi Jingping audacious enough to expel Hu Jintao in front of everyone is capable of most anything. We must now prepare for the worst,” Gordon G. Chang, author of The Great U.S.-China Tech War, said. “During the last week, Xi Jinping confirmed just about every fear the world had about China. We now face only horrible options.”
— Gordon G. Chang (@GordonGChang) October 22, 2022
Congressional hopeful for Washington’s 3rd District, military veteran Joe Kent, proposed to use the CCP as a bargaining chip in an effort to end the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“Our focus should be on getting Ukraine and Russia to the negotiating table to avoid a nuclear war. Not this foolish, hollow bravado,” Kent said.
“The out we offer Putin is sanctions relief and a chance to break free from needing the CCP,” Kent added. “We need to drive a wedge between Russia and China as opposed to driving Russia to China and creating an economic powerhouse in Eurasia hostile to the US.”