Frail former Chinese president, 79, is mysteriously forced from party congress hall

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China’s former leader Hu Jintao was abruptly told to leave the closing ceremony of the Communist Party Congress, as officials escorted the frail man out of the Great Hall of the People. Hu Jintao was sitting beside President Xi Jinping when he was approached by Chinese Communist Party officials. The 79-year-old was then unexpectedly escorted out of the closing ceremony of the ruling Communist Party.

The frail predecessor to President Xi appeared confused and disorientated as the officials led him away.

At one point, the former leader looked reluctant to leave and even turned back toward his seat.

On his way out, he exchanged words with President Xi who nodded back to Mr Hu.

Mr Hu, who held the presidency between 2003 and 2013, also patted Premier Li Keqiang on the shoulder.

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The sudden departure remains unexplained.

Chinese state media has so far refused to mention the incident while the country’s censors have blocked clips of the moment being reported.

CNN’s Beijing Bureau Chief Steven Jiang described the moment as “high drama” in what is typically a strictly choreographed event.

BBC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonell said: “There are a lot of questions and no answers so far from the Chinese government.”



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