Hu Jintao: The mysterious exit of China's former leader from party congress

BBC NEWS - By Stephen McDonell - OCT 23, 2022


Footage of China's former leader, Hu Jintao, being asked to leave the stage at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during the Communist Party Congress is drawing global attention as people try to work out what has just happened.


There are a lot of questions and no answers so far from the Chinese government.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported that Mr Hu was escorted from the chamber after feeling unwell.



But Mr Hu, 79, appeared reluctant to move. If that is the case, why?


What did he say to the man who replaced him, Xi Jinping, which prompted a nod from China's current leader? And what did he say to his protégé, Li Keqiang, as he tapped him on the shoulder before being ushered off stage?


The two most likely reasons for his departure are that it was either part of China's power politics on full display, with a leader representing a former time being symbolically removed, or that Hu Jintao has serious health problems.


It came at the end of the Communist Party's week-long congress, which cemented Mr Xi's position as China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.


On the first day of the congress, Mr Hu was only able to walk in with the assistance of an official. On that day, he looked pretty frail.


However, if he was led away at the end because of ill-health, why did this happen so suddenly? Why in front of the cameras? Was it an emergency?


A longer edit of the footage taken on Saturday shows Xi Jinping turning to the former party chairman and also, to Mr Hu's left, senior figures Li Zhanshu and Wang Huning appearing concerned. Mr Li even moved to help him at one point, but was pulled back by Mr Wang, as if to say, "Don't get involved in this."


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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-63358627


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