Rumors swirl that Xi Jinping will step down amid harsh COVID lockdowns

The rumors followed a meeting last week of the Party Politburo Standing Committee, the collective leadership group that rules China. They were traced in part to a Chinese-language YouTube video May 4 by Canadian-based blogger appearing under the persona “Lao Deng.” Details of the video quickly spread to social media outlets in China but were quickly censored.

The blogger, citing what he said was a senior Chinese Communist Party (CCP) security source, said a “coup” was launched against Mr. Xi at the meeting of senior party leaders in Beijing. According to blog, Mr. Xi was forced to step aside but will stay in place until a major party meeting later this year.

In his place, current Premier Li Keqiang will take over daily management of the party and government.

The video included the headline “Shocking Coup: Xi Jinping Has Stepped Down; Li Keqiang is the New Master.”

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