A former Chinese President was manhandled out of a key meeting of the Communist Party of China on Saturday. Hu Jintao, who was sitting next to President Xi Jinping, was taken out of the closing ceremony of the Communist Party Congress.
The incident captured on the camera shows that Hu is reluctant to be removed from the front row at Beijing's Great Hall of the People. But security members took him away.
Hu Was Manhandled Out of Communist Party Meeting
The clip uploaded on the internet shows a steward trying to take Hu by the arm before being shaken off. The steward then tried to lift Hu, who has served as Chinese President from 2003 to 2013, with both hands from under the armpits.
Incident is Demonstration of Power By Xi Jinping
After a tense exchange of about a minute, in which Hu spoke briefly with Xi and Premier Li Keqiang, he was led out of the hall. Xi, who is expected to be reinstated for a third term on Sunday, was filmed holding papers down on the desk as Hu tried to grab them, according to The Sun.
During the bizarre exchange, other officials looked firmly ahead while Hu patted Li's shoulder while leaving. No official clarification of the incident was given but experts have pointed out that the humiliating incident was a show of power by Xi.
"I am sure it is a demonstration of power and authority by Xi Jinping. The exclusion of Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Premier Wang Yang from the 20th Central Committee is a clear sign that Xi has won the struggle to choose the new leadership which will be revealed tomorrow," former diplomat Roger Garside told The Sun.
Director of the Lau China Institute at King's College London Kerry Brown believes that Hu was removed from next to Xi Jinping because of his health reasons as they didn't want him fainting next to President or while Xi spoke. "He has been in poor health for a number of years. Still, a most inauspicious moment for this to happen."