Xi Jinping Makes First Public Appearance Since Uzbekistan Trip Amid Rumors Of Coup And House Arrest

After social media reports claimed a military coup had occurred in China and that Xi Jinping was under house arrest, the Chinese president made his first public appearance since his most recent foreign tour in over two years.

What Happened: On Tuesday, Xi was seen visiting an exhibition in Beijing, wearing a mask, state-run news outlet Xinhua reported. The exhibition detailed China’s accomplishments over the past decade.

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The Chinese president was accompanied by six other members of the Politburo Standing Committee. This came as a sign of unity after Xi’s absence sparked several rumors on social media about a challenge to his authority. Some even suggested that he was removed as the chief of China’s People’s Liberation Army, despite having no reliable source.

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His first public appearance comes after the Chinese leader returned to Beijing from Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Uzbekistan on Sept. 16, where he met world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian PM Narendra Modi.

That was Xi’s first overseas trip since the onset of COVID-19. His previous journey before that was a trip to Myanmar in January 2020, days before Wuhan — the city in China where coronavirus first broke out — was sealed off.

The Chinese president’s absence in the past few days was in line with the country’s protocol that requires all international arrivals to undergo seven days of hotel quarantine, followed by three days of home isolation.

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