Former Chinese leader Hu Jintao unexpectedly walked out of the room as the Communist Party Congress drew to a close

Hong Kong

Former Chinese Supreme Leader Hu Jintao was unexpectedly pulled out of the closing ceremony of a grand meeting of China’s ruling Communist Party on Saturday, in a dramatic moment during an usually highly-designed event.

Hu, 79, was sitting prominently at the front table in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, next to his successor, current leader Xi Jinping, when a staff member approached him, according to photos and video. The meeting, including from CNN staff.

As he sat down, Hu seemed to be talking briefly with the male employee, while Politburo Standing Committee member Li Zhanshu, who was seated at his other side, placed his hand on Hu’s back.

He then seemed to get up after a staff member, who had taken the former leader by the arm, raised him, while Kong Shaoxun, deputy director of the Communist Party General Office and head of its secretariat, came over. He spoke to the two men briefly and seemed at first reluctant to leave.

Then the two men escorted him from his seat, one held his arm, while the other party members seated behind the main table were looking at him. The circumstances surrounding the exit is unclear.

On his way out, he was seen pausing and seemed to say something to Xi and then patted Premier Li Keqiang on the shoulder. Both Xi and Li seemed to nod their heads. It was not clear what Shi said in his response.

At one point, while he was still seated, Xi seemed to put his hand on a document he was trying to reach.

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At another moment, after he was standing and arguing with the two men before he walked out, Li Zhanshu seemed to be trying to get up from his seat, but was directed downward by a drag on his jacket by Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Huning. sitting next to him.

Ho, who retired in 2013, has been seen suffering from increasingly poor public health in recent years. CNN was censored on the air in China when it was talking about Hu Jintao’s exit.

Departure was a dramatic moment during the day of yet another procedural closure of the Communist Party’s National Congress.

The week-long event, which included about 2,300 delegates, concluded on Saturday with a rubber stamp to reshuffle the party’s elite, the nearly 200-member Central Committee, approving changes to the party’s constitution, with several phrases linked to Xi Jinping. Policies and ideology are included.

The closing event comes a day before the unveiling of the party’s new senior leadership. Xi, who is widely seen as having consolidated his power by eliminating rivals and reducing the continuing power of the elderly, is expected to be reappointed as party chief, breaking the two-term rule for the supreme leader observed in recent decades.

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