CCP Leader Xi's Security Obsession, Unpredictable Whereabouts, Attract International Attention

CCP Leader Xi's Security Obsession, Unpredictable Whereabouts, Attract International Attention
A paramilitary police officer stands guard in Tiananmen Square after a plenary session of the National People's Congress in the adjacent Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 11, 2018. (GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping’s over-the-top security measures during his overseas visits have recently caught the attention of international media.

Last month, Mr. Xi went to South Africa to participate in the BRICS summit, but suddenly skipped an important scheduled speech at the business forum on Aug. 22. Instead, Wang Wentao, the CCP's minister of commerce, read out his speech for him at the forum.

At the G20 Summit held in India that ended on Sept. 10, Mr. Xi also was absent and replaced by Prime Minister Li Qiang, which also triggered speculation.

Overseas media and China observers pointed out that Mr. Xi is very afraid of being assassinated, that’s why he often misses important occasions, making his whereabouts unpredictable, and he doesn’t care about the outside world's opinion of him.

According to Taiwanese media Shanghai Daily’s report on Sept. 9, right before the BRICS summit, the South African police confirmed that Mr. Xi not only brought a delegation of 500 people to visit, but also booked all the rooms in two hotels for the summit. A month before his arrival, Chinese authorities had transported a complete set of furniture from China to redecorate Mr. Xi’s suite for his stay, from cups and bowls, beds, mattresses to carpets and even curtains. Not a single thing from South Africa was kept in the room. “[Xi] completely rebuilt the presidential suite,” the report cited local police.

Although some believe that these exaggerated security measures such as rebuilding the presidential suite are an act of showing off wealth by Mr. Xi and the Chinese communist regime, the report pointed out that the complete replacement of the items in the suite is more like Mr. Xi’s concern about threats to his personal safety. That’s why he required a watertight security as a response, citing analysts.

Over the Top Security During Previous Visits

When Mr. Xi visited Papua New Guinea in November 2018, two Chinese-made bulletproof vehicles were airlifted from China to Papua New Guinea for him. In December 2018, Mr. Xi visited Portugal for two days and spent two million euros to book all the rooms in the Ritz Hotel and to widen the hotel garage door for the entry and exit of the bulletproof vehicle brought by Mr. Xi.

Hong Kong media outlet "Ming Pao" reported on Sept. 11 an interview with a restaurant owner named Ren Jianyong in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, who’s from China’s Henan Province.

Mr. Ren recalled that when Mr. Xi visited Tajikistan for the first time in 2014, his restaurant which is located in the hotel that Mr. Xi stayed provided all three meals per day for more than 200 Chinese, including 150 members of Mr. Xi’s delegation, plus staff from the Chinese Embassy in Tajikistan.

Mr. Ren said that this "political task" was extremely stressful. The background check for restaurant managers and chefs must go back in three generations. There must be no mistakes in the meals for the delegation. All food and materials purchased must have documented sources that can be checked. Catering for Mr. Xi was personally handled by several chefs from the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing who were accompanying the delegation.

Many current affairs commentators believe that Mr. Xi is in serious trouble and always worried about being assassinated or a coup against him.

Wang Youqun, a columnist for the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times believes that Mr. Xi is indeed in great danger.

He wrote in an article on Sept. 12 that the threats are brought about by Mr. Xi’s protection and keeping of the CCP.

“Xi should have seen clearly from his 11-year anti-corruption campaign against ‘tigers’ [corrupt high rank CCP officials], that on the one hand, the CCP is extremely corrupt and can’t be saved; on the other hand, the 623 tigers that Xi investigated and the people behind them will never let him live. However, Xi still insists on protecting and keeping the Party [not to disintegrate it].

“If Xi continues to protect the Party, he is likely to be swallowed up by the meat grinder of the CCP,” Mr. Wang wrote.

Ning Haizhong contributed to this report.