Wild rumours Spread About The Disappearance Of China's Next Leader

Xi Jinping

The man who will soon be China’s next president, Xi Jinping, has been out of the spotlight recently. He has not been seen in public for more than a week and he cancelled a crucial meeting with Hilary Clinton last week and another meeting with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt today.

While his Clinton meeting was widely seen as a “snub”, and officially put down to a “bad back”, wilder rumours are now on the scene. Could Xi be injured after some kind of assassination attempt?

Boxun.com, an overseas Chinese news website that appeared to have inside knowledge of the Bo Xilai scandal, has published a number of articles about Xi’s weeklong disappearance. The most scandalous said that Xi and He Guoqiang, another senior party member, are recuperating in hospital after two staged car accidents in Beijing on September 4. Xi was apparently sandwiched between two jeeps and lost consciousness during the crash — the rumours imply that supporters of Bo Xilai may be behind the attack.

The AP points towards another strange factor in the case — Vladimir Putin’s strange remarks at the APEC forum in Vladivostok about Hu Jintao and a domestic incident in China.

While Boxun’s news has often been far from accurate, in the aftermath of the Bo Xilai case many are taking the wild rumours on the site more seriously. However, even Boxun may believe this rumour to be too far out there — they later replaced the first story with a story about Xi being preoccupied with his transition to leadership.

Other, perhaps more believable rumours, suggest that Xi hurt his back while playing soccer.

SEE ALSO: China’s Next Leader Is Secretly Hinting At Reforms >

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