Chinese leader Xi Jinping skips military seminar, sparking outside speculation
Chinese leader Xi Jinping did not attend the national defense and military reform seminar held in Beijing on Wednesday.
Although absent, Xi, who is general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), president of China and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of China, gave his instructions to the participants and demanded that the Chinese military “focuses on combat readiness”. ”, according to the Xinhua news agency, the main mouthpiece of Chinese propaganda. (Report)
Also absent from the seminar, Wei Fenghe, the Minister of National Defense.
Li Qiaoming, former commander of China’s Northern Theater Command, was at the seminar. Li was replaced by Wang Qiang of the air force whom Xi promoted to general on September 8. (Report)
Li was seen on Chinese Central Television sitting in the front row below the stage, next to Liu Zhenli, commander of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Ground Force.
Li disappeared from public view after Wang Qiang replaced him as commander and was once included in rumors of a “military coup”.
There has been a lot of outside speculation about the military reshuffle ahead of the 20th CPC National Congress in which Xi is seeking a third consecutive term.
Chinese news commentator Yang Wei wrote for the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times on Sept. 9 that Li would likely be promoted to the CMC at the 20th party congress by Xi.
Yang noted in his article that Li was promoted to commander of the Northern Theater Command in 2017 by Xi, and Li led the formation of flags in the military parade on the anniversary of the takeover of China. China by the CCP, which shows that Xi appreciates him.
Nikkei Asia also thinks Li would likely be promoted to CMC, as Li “caught Xi’s attention” when he wrote an article that struck a chord with Xi.
Li wrote, “The Soviet Union collapsed because the party didn’t have its own army,” according to Nikkei Asia.
RFI (Radio France Internationale) noticed that Li was wearing a PLA ground force emblem in the Chinese TV report, which it said “confirms” that Li would replace Liu Zhenli as force commander. land of the PLA during the 20th National Congress of the CPC, as this reported September 23.
Defense Minister Wei Fenghe’s absence, according to Chinese news commentator Wang He, was most likely due to “physical reasons”.
“Wei is considered a Xi loyalist and his absence is not for political reasons,” Wang said in an interview with the Chinese-language Epoch Times on September 22, “It is more likely that whether he is infected by the pandemic or [has] other health problems.
Wei last appeared in the northwest Chinese city of Xi’an (home to the Qin Dynasty terracotta figurines) when he met General Qamar Javed Bajwa, chief of Pakistani army staff, according to China Military News. (Report)
Former Chinese Navy Lt. Col. Yao Cheng, who now lives in the US, tweeted that Xi’s absence signals he is unlikely to get his third term as head of state , party leader and army chief in China.
“Xi, as chairman of the CMC, did not attend the seminar on national defense and military reform organized by the CMC, while the former commander of the northern theater Li Qiaoming, who was removed from his post by Xi, was actually sitting in the front row, “Yao tweeted on September 22, “it indicates that the military will fix things regarding Xi’s great failure in military reform. So it seems that not only is Xi unlikely to serve consecutively as head of the party, government and military, but even his succession as CMC chairman hangs by a thread.
Yao once provided high-tech military technology to the Chinese regime, only to be punished for it. Unfortunately, he fell victim to the CCP’s infighting and was sentenced to seven years in prison in 1998.
Ning Haizhong contributed to the article.