In a shocking scene Saturday, Hu Jintao, the 79-year-old former president of China, was lifted from his seat and escorted out of the closing ceremony of the Chinese Communist Party's meeting in Beijing – seemingly against his will – while current President Xi Jinping appeared disinterested and unbothered by the spectacle, as Fox News reports.
Hu, who was seated next to Xi at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, was approached, seemingly out of nowhere, by a pair of men appearing to be security officials who spoke a few words to the former head of state before forcibly urging him to rise from his chair.
Paperwork that had been in Hu's possessions were seized by the men – later suspected to be top Communist Party officials, Breitbart noted, and though Hu attempted to grab a document that sat atop a folder at the seat of his successor, Xi swiftly held the sheet down so it could not be taken. WATCH:
— 自由亚洲电台 (@RFA_Chinese) October 22, 2022
President Xi did not watch as Hu was pulled away from the proceedings, and he ignored the latter's apparent verbal entreaties for some sort of intervention to stop his removal.
There has been no official explanation offered by the Chinese government as to what exactly transpired with regard to Hu, and all discussion of the bizarre incident has since been erased from Weibo, a social media platform in the country that often draws comparisons to Twitter, as Fox News further noted.
Chinese state media suggested that Hu, who retired from office back in 2013, had "insisted" on being present at the session on Saturday, despite a recent illness, as the New York Post explained, but others have opined that Xi's predecessor is actually part of a political faction that opposes the current president's continued grip on power.
Xi is currently working to solidify his hold on authority by securing a record-breaking third term as party chairman, and as such, may be working to squelch any rumblings of dissent, including those reportedly held by Hu.
Though Saturday's events were rapidly minimized and swept under the rug by the CCP, they prompted a wave of intense commentary on American social media, with conservative pundit David Giglio musing, "How is this any different than what Joe Biden and Merrick Garland are now doing to political dissidents of the Regime? Joe learned from the best when he and Hunter were selling their souls to the CCP."