The decade's most triggering comedy
Notable figures from around the world expressed shock after images emerged late on Friday night of Chinese communist dictator Xi Jinping having his predecessor, former President Hu Jintao, taken out of the Chinese Party Congress.
The New York Times noted that the party congress is a highly choreographed event, which caused even more concern for the unexpected removal of Hu, who tried to talk to Xi as he was being forcibly removed.
Some reports and commentators tried to suggest that Hu might have been feeling unwell, but video showed him repeatedly appearing to resist being removed from the room as he looked confused and even angry at being unexpectedly hauled away.
The ouster of Hu from Beijing’s Great Hall of the People came before Xi was to give a major speech to some 2,300 key CCP officials. Xi, who in 2018 ended the two-term limit for presidents, is expected to be officially confirmed for a third term as CCP general secretary. He serves as both general secretary of the Communist Party, president and head of the armed forces, and is often referred to as “Paramount,” or “Supreme Leader.”
While video of the incident went viral on Twitter, it was absent from China’s heavily censored social media platforms.
The 69-year-old Xi spoke Sunday at the opening session of the once-every-five-years congress and signaled a pending move on Taiwan, did a victory lap over Beijing’s defeat of Hong Kong’s democracy aspirations, and vowed to defeat COVID.
Xi struck a stridently nationalistic tone at the opening of the 20th Party Congress, which appears set to affirm him as its leader for life. He seemed to embrace that his muscular government is on a collision course with the West and intends to take over Taiwan.
The following are some of the most notable responses online to the viral incident:
Greg Wilson contributed to this report.