By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BEIJING (Worthy News) – Experts have played down reports on social media outlets that China’s President Xi Jinping has been ousted in a coup, but questions remained early Monday about his whereabouts.
China watchers said there’s a “strong possibility” that Xi could be in quarantine, “but not under house arrest,” after the country’s strict ‘Zero Covid Policy’ that saw millions of people being forced into lockdowns.
Under the policy to prevent another COVID pandemic, every individual who enters China from abroad must undergo quarantine.
Yet social media outlets and sites linked to anti-Communist groups claimed that Xi lost control as he didn’t appear publicly following his recent return from a summit in Uzbekistan.
With no official confirmation from the Chinese Communist Party or state media and updates from mainly anonymous users, experts questioned what they called “rumors” and “false speculations.”
There were also unverified reports that few passenger flights are flying above the Chinese capital Beijing and that train and bus services have been canceled recently.
That would suggest a coup was underway, social media claimed. Beijing Capital International Airport’s website showed that some flights were canceled while others were scheduled, slightly delayed, or had already landed.
China expert Aadil Brar shared flight data and concluded there is “no disruption of flights.”
He also shared visuals of public briefings by senior Chinese officials, suggesting that the government is functioning normally.
Yet the uncertainty about Xi’s whereabouts underscored broader concerns among dissidents and about the political workings of Communist-run China.
There were several protests against authorities this year, including when people suddenly lost bank savings in some areas of the country.
Additionally, minorities, including devoted Christians, have faced increased pressure and church raids by Chinese security forces.
The social media upheaval comes ahead of next month’s Chinese Communist Party congress, where President Xi may position potential candidates to succeed him after his all-but-certain third term as the party’s general secretary.
The once-in-five-years event is reportedly due to bring at least two new appointments to the elite Politburo Standing Committee, seen as a must for any future party leaders.