Is Xi Jinping missing? Rumours of military coup in China explained

Updated on Sep 26, 2022 04:04 PM IST

Xi Jinping and China's Rumoured Coup: After Xi Jinping's outing at SCO in Samarkand, claims of the president being under house arrest went rife.

Xi Jinping: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand on September 16.(AP)
Xi Jinping: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand on September 16.(AP)

Social media has been abuzz with rumours of a coup in China claiming that the country's president Xi Jinping has been deposed. Speculations began on the internet after Jinping was said to be missing from the public eye following his return from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Uzbekistan – his first official foreign visit since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

No officials from China's ruling Communist Party or the state media have said anything on the rumours. Their social media accounts show work as usual in the country ahead of the party's five-yearly congress which is set to begin on October 16 where Jinping is poised to secure a historic third term that will cement his place as China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

Here's what we know so far on claims of a coup in China:

Is Xi Jinping under house arrest?

After Xi Jinping's outing at SCO in Samarkand, claims of the president being under house arrest went rife. The claims have been dismissed by experts saying that there is a strong possibility that the Chinese premier is under quarantine owing to the country's strict zero-Covid policy that mandates every individual who enters China from abroad to undergo quarantine.

Are international and domestic commercial flights in China being cancelled?

Reports of fewer passenger flights in and out of Beijing were also shared across social media in addition to claims that all trains and buses have been cancelled. Beijing Capital International Airport's website, however, showed that some flights were cancelled, several others were scheduled, slightly delayed, or had already landed. Nevertheless, China's flight traffic has not returned to pre-pandemic level which could be a reason for the data showing less number of flights out of Beijing.

What has been happening in China for the past one week?

Two former ministers were sentenced to death and four officials were sent to life in jail in China last week as the Communist Party continues its anti-corruption campaign strongly initiated by Xi Jinping. The removal of officials, said to be opponents of Xi, is an indication of his influence on the party and China at large.

(With agency inputs)

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