The Inter on Sunday exploded with rumours that the Chinese military had placed President Xi Jinping under house arrest after deposing him from power. What fuelled rumours on social media was a claim that the Chinese government had cancelled more than 6,000 domestic and international flights.
Twitter user Jennifer Zeng, who has more than two lakh followers on Twitter shared a dramatic video as she wrote, “#PLA military vehicles heading to #Beijing on Sep 22. Starting from Huanlai County near Beijing & ending in Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, entire procession as long as 80 KM. Meanwhile, rumor has it that #XiJinping was under arrest after #CCP seniors removed him as head of PLA.”
#PLA military vehicles heading to #Beijing on Sep 22. Starting from Huanlai County near Beijing & ending in Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, entire procession as long as 80 KM. Meanwhile, rumor has it that #XiJinping was under arrest after #CCP seniors removed him as head of PLA pic.twitter.com/hODcknQMhE
— Jennifer Zeng 曾錚 (@jenniferatntd) September 23, 2022
Author Gordon G Chang wrote, “The lack of news from #China over the last few hours suggests coup rumors are untrue, but whatever happened inside the #Chinese military during the last three days—evidently something unusual occurred—tells us there is turbulence inside the senior #CCP leadership.”
The bio of Chang, who has 1.96 lakh followers on Twitter, says that he had written books such as The Coming Collapse of China and The Great U.S.-China Tech War.
Chang said that ‘the unexpected events in China started right after Xi Jinping came back from Uzbekistan and disappeared from sight for days, something unusual for him.’ Jinping was recently in Uzbekistan to take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit where he met several world leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Other social media users claimed that the PLA had gained full control of China after placing Jinping under house arrest.
Rumours of Jinping being overthrown in a military coup gained momentum hours after China sentenced two top-ranking former ministers to death for their involvement in corruption. Former Chinese Vice Minister of Public Security, Sun Lijun, was sentenced to death for taking 646 million Yuans of bribes, manipulating stock market and illegally possessing firearms.
Former Justice Minister of China, Fu Zhenghua, too was sentenced to death for taking bribes worth $16million.
Chinese media outlets have not commented on the claims of a military coup. There has also been no news on the rumours in the western media.