• By The Financial District

Rumors Swirl On Xi's Ouster Before CCP Holds Congress

Purges of senior officials and unfounded rumors of military coups in Beijing have fed into feverish speculation ahead of a key meeting of China’s ruling party next month, when president Xi Jinping is expected to be granted an unprecedented third term, Helen Davidson reported for The Guardian.

Photo Insert: A coup in China wasn’t entirely implausible, an analyst stated, and Xi had reportedly shown concern about the prospect in the past, but the weekend’s rumors looked more like “wishful thinking.”

The jailing of a clique of senior security officials for corruption, followed by days of strange and quickly dispelled rumors of Xi being under house arrest, have fueled what one analyst called a “hothouse” environment mired in secrecy and suspicion.

Last week, a Chinese court jailed the former vice-minister of public security Sun Lijun, the former justice minister Fu Zhenghua, and former police chiefs of Shanghai, Chongqing, and Shanxi on corruption charges. Fu and the police chiefs had been accused of being part of a political clique surrounding Sun and being disloyal to Xi.

The round-up was one of the biggest Chinese political purges in years, and came just weeks before the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) most important political meeting, the twice-a-decade party congress, where the political elite are reshuffled around the various positions.

The congress starts on Oct. 16, with 2,300 delegates participating.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Xi is expected to be reappointed as leader of the party and military commission at the meeting after he abolished the two-term limit in 2018 and waged a years-long anti-corruption campaign that also targeted many political opponents. Members of his faction have been spared.

Drew Thompson, a scholar with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said a coup in China wasn’t entirely implausible, and Xi had reportedly shown concern about the prospect in the past, but the weekend’s rumors looked more like “wishful thinking.”

Government & politics: Politicians, government officials and delegates standing in front of their country flags in a political event in the financial district.

They appeared to originate in accounts associated with the Falun Gong movement, which Thompson said was essentially not credible.

“The rumor that Xi Jinping has been arrested has legs because it is such a sensitive political moment in China, and the recent trials (and convictions) of long-serving senior officials creates a hothouse atmosphere,” he said on Twitter.

Business: Business men in suite and tie in a work meeting in the office located in the financial district.

Thompson, who is also a former US state department official, told The Guardian the Falun Gong media often exaggerated or highlighted their opposition to Xi and the CCP in their reporting. Other analysts like Sinocism author, Bill Bishop, said he thought the rumors were “BS” but the “inherent opacity” of the CCP mechanisms easily fueled their spread.

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