CHINA TOPIX

Updated 4:59 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 11, 2019

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Two Ex-Chinese Presidents A No-Show At NPC Meetings

Two Ex-Chinese Presidents A No-Show At NPC Meetings

(Photo : Reuters)

China's political observers could only speculate on why two of China's former presidents were absent at the second meeting of the third session of the 12th National People's Congress that opened last Thursday.

Shen Yueyue, vice chairman of the 12th National People's Congress, reported to the meeting that 2,875 deputies attended out of the official 2,964 while 89 delegates were visibly absent from the legislative sessions.

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Reports said former Chinese Presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao did not attend the sessions and political analysts could only offer their two cents' worth on the reasons why the two leaders decided to skip the event.

For one, ex-President Zemin is no longer a member of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC)  following his retirement from his duty as a deputy on March 2008.

The analysts said that another reason for his absence could be because of his age. Zemin is 88 years old and may not be as active as before in politics although reports said he successfully climbed  'Dongshan' or the eastern mountain in Hainan three months ago.

Reports said Zemin's residual powers are quickly dissipating as he couldn't help and protect  his many  former associates and their children who are facing corruption charges under the term of current president, Xi Jinping.

Among Zemin's former associates being investigated for corruption include General Xu Caihou and Zhou Yongkang and their children, Guo Zhenggang, son of General Guo Boxiong. Boxiong was vice chairman of a military commission and member of the 16th and 17th Politburo.

Reports said Zemin has not been seen in  major official functions for years and was last seen at the National Day Celebration Banquet last October 2014 where he sat next to  Xi.

Political observers said that the absence of  Zemin in this year's NPC sessions marked the end of his  influence and power.

Another former Chinese President, Hu Jintao, was also a no-show at the opening of the NPC legislative sessions.

Reports said Hu is no longer a deputy to the 12th  NPC. A deputy from the 7th to 11th Congress, Hu resigned from all of his positions in the Party during the 18th Party Congress in November 2012.

In March 2013, Ju stepped down from all of his government positions at  the 12th NPC meeting Like Zemin,  Hu was last seen during last year's National Banquet.

The arrest of his personal assistant, Ling Jihua, for corruption was a major humiliation for the former leader and could also be one of the reasons why he decided to not attend the NPC sessions.

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