Rashmi Ranjan

With unconfirmed news about a military coup and house arrest of Chinese President Xi Jinping doing rounds on the internet, speculations are rife that something very big is taking shape in Beijing. 

Meanwhile, reports suggesting grounding of over 60 per cent of international and domestic flights to and from Beijing on Friday, have fuelled the buzz that China’s capital Beijing is currently under the  control of People’s Liberation Army (PLA). 

Though, no Chinese media or any officials have confirmed the reported coup, unconfirmed sources said President Xi Jinping has been removed as chief of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and he has been put under house arrest.

Rumours also suggest that Li Qiaoming, the General serving for PLA and one of the members of the central committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao has replaced Xi as the President.

Who is Li Qiaoming?

Li Qiaoming is a general of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

Born in April 1961, Li served as commander of the Northern Theater Command from September 2017. 

Li along with six other Chinese military officers were promoted to the rank of general, the highest rank for officers in active service in China in December 2019. He was a member of the central committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao. 

Why the rumours

Two former Chinese ministers were given death sentence while four other officials were awarded lifer for plotting 'political faction'. The Communist Party has launched an anti-corruption drive across the country. It is believed that the news of Xi’s house arrest is being spread by the anti-Jinping lobby in the CCP.

Xi at SCO Summit 

The Chinese President visited Uzbekistan’s Samarkand to participate in the recently-concluded SCO summit which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is reported that Xi did not have any scheduled meeting with Putin and Modi. It is rumoured that as soon as he alighted from his plane at Beijing, he was put under house arrest. 

Anti-Xi vibes in China

Ill-handling of domestic challenges like Covid-19 and mishandling of external issues had created a sense of alienation among people against President Xi. Prolonged face-off with India in the Himalayan region, extremely aggressive posturing vis-à-vis countries along south Pacific Ocean and the latest conflagration with Taiwan have added to the massive antipathy against Xi.

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