Salem Radio Network News Friday, December 9, 2022

World

Chinese ex-President Hu Jintao escorted out of party congress

BEIJING (Reuters) -Chinese former President Hu Jintao was unexpectedly escorted out of the closing ceremony of a congress of the ruling Communist Party on Saturday.

Hu, 79, Xi Jinping’s immediate predecessor, was seated to the left of Xi. He was led off the stage of the main auditorium of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing by two stewards, a Reuters witness at the congress said.

Video taken by AFP showed a steward repeatedly trying to lift Hu from his seat, drawing concerned looks from many officials seated nearby.

China’s top legislator Li Zhanshu, seated to Hu’s right, gave the former president’s folder to the steward, wiping his head with a cloth after Hu finally stood up.

Looking distressed, Hu appeared to resist leaving as the stewards escorted him out, turning back to his seat at one point. On his way out, he exchanged words with Xi and patted Premier Li Keqiang, seated to the right of Xi, on the shoulder.

Hu had appeared slightly unsteady last Sunday when he was assisted onto the same stage for the opening ceremony of the congress.

The once-in-five-years congress concluded with amendments to the party’s constitution that cements the core status of Xi and the guiding role of his political thought within the party.

(Reporting by Eduardo Baptista and Ryan Woo; Editing by Robert Birsel, Lincoln Feast and William Mallard)

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