A social media frenzy surrounding rumors of a China coup has erupted over the past 48 hours.
Observers have questioned the reason behind the cancellation of over 9000 flights across China’s mainland in the past three days, along with the suspension of bus and train services surrounding Beijing.
Adding to the speculation is an unverified video of an 80 kilometer-long line of military vehicles travelling outside of Beijing.
Xi Jinping is missing?
The Chinese President last appeared in public during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Heads of State Summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The following photo, which was taken on September 14 upon his arrival in Samarkand, was posted online by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On September 16, the Summit came to an end.
Days later, Xi’s absence from the China National Defense and Military Reform Seminar as well as the prominence of Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Li Qiaoming in official media reporting on the event astounded many observers of China.
“Li Qiaoming, the former commander of the Northern Theater Command, who was previously dismissed and rumored to have participated in the “mutiny”, made a high-profile appearance and was photographed sitting in the front row of the meeting next to Liu Zhenli, the commander of the Chinese Communist Army.,” commented Chinese political commentators Liu Fangli and Liang Xin.
Since then, the General has become the subject of China coup rumors, with many people on social media thinking he will succeed Xi.