Xi Jinping makes first public appearance in Beijing after coup rumours
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited an exhibition in Beijing on Tuesday, in his first public appearance since returning from an official trip to Central Asia this month, state media reported.
Xi's absence from the public view, since his return from the Uzbekistan summit, had led to rumours that he was under house arrest. His absence also gave rise to speculations of military coups in Beijing.
These reports emerged ahead of the 20th National Congress next month where Xi is likely to secure a third term in power despite a moribund economy, the COVID-19 pandemic and rising tensions with the West over Taiwan.
Chairman Xi Jinping will extend his term in power for another five years, as the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) conducts its all-important 20th Party Congress.
Xi remains firmly in charge of the one-party state, despite swirling rumours - propagated it seems by the Falun Gong and some Indian media - that a coup had occurred in Beijing. Military columns approaching Beijing and mass cancellations of flights were cited as "evidence" of Xi being put under house arrest.
This is not the case, however, as rumour mills ramp up ahead of such important CCP events. A total of 2,296 delegates have been appointed to the 20th Party Congress, including just over 200 full members and approximately 170 alternate members. They will rubber stamp Xi's third five-year term in office, something unprecedented since the excesses of Mao Zedong's reign.
Chairman Xi, who is also general secretary of the CCP Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, on Tuesday, visited an exhibition on the great achievements of the Party and the country over the past decade, Xinhua news agency reported.
During his visit, Xi was accompanied by other high-level leaders including Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, and Han Zheng.
In his address, Xi stressed that since the 18th CCP National Congress in 2012, the CCP Central Committee has united and led the whole Party, the country, and the people in solving many challenging problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved.
Historic achievements and shifts have taken place in the cause of the Party and the country, equipping the country with better institutions, firmer material foundations, and a more proactive mindset for realizing national rejuvenation, Xi added.
He called for more efforts in raising public awareness of strategic measures, transformative practices, breakthroughs, and landmark accomplishments over the past decade.
Xi also urged a better understanding of the significance of the profound changes during this period in the history of the CCP.