Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up the People's Congress with a power move that vanquished his rivals and humiliated his predecessor.
The moves leave no doubt that he personally consolidated power at the event, which takes place every 5 years. It was already widely expected that he would be confirmed for another 5-year term -- his third -- but there were questions about how much influence reformists promoted by predecessor Hu Jintao would retain.
The answer: Virutally none.
Rivals Li Keqiang and Wang Yan were left off the policy setting Central Committee and ushered into retirement. But the coup-de-grace was a humiliating exit of Hu. There have long been reports that the 79-year-old Hu is in poor health, possibly suffereing from dementia, but to wait until after media were invited in only to escort him out was surely a power move.
Watch for yourself:
Early drama: Hu Jintao seen being led out soon after reporters are led into the main hall pic.twitter.com/pRffGZF60I— Danson Cheong (@dansoncj) October 22, 2022
As Iam Bremmer put it, here is the message: