Beijing, Oct 22 (UNI): Chinese former leader Hu Jintao has been left out of the closing ceremony of the Communist Party Congress, media reports said.
The frail-looking 79-year-old was sitting beside President Xi Jinping when he was approached and led away by officials. No explanation was given. After its week-long congress, the party is expected to confirm Xi, 69, for a historic third term, according to BBC reports.
The event, held in Beijing every five years, cemented his position as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. Hu Jintao, who held the presidency between 2003 and 2013, was on stage when two officials approached him. He said something to Xi Jinping, who nodded back.
Then Hu Jintao was escorted out of the Great Hall of the People. Hu Jintao represents a very different China to that of Xi Jinping. He ran a more collective leadership and had to balance various factions represented on the Politburo Standing Committee.
As general secretary of the Party, Xi has taken the country in a very different direction with him at the “core” and unable to be challenged. The new Central Committee does not include Li Keqiang or Wang Yang, both seen as economic liberals, both linked to the ideas of the former administration.
Earlier on Saturday, the Central Committee of 205 senior party officials was elected. Delegates rubber-stamped amendments to the party’s constitution endorsing Xi’s ideas as guiding principles for China’s future.
Xi currently combines the positions of general secretary of the Communist Party, president and head of the armed forces. He is also referred to as Paramount or Supreme leader.