Speculation of disharmony among top Chinese leaders has intensified after Vice President Wang Qishan described his speech at the high-profile Boao Forum for Asia as merely “an announcement for President Xi Jinping.”
“I must clarify that I am not giving a speech,” Wang said after he was invited to the stage in Tuesday’s opening ceremony of the annual economic conference.
“The person who is giving a speech in this plenary session is President Xi Jinping.”
Wang went on to describe himself as a “temporary host” and his task was to make the announcement for Xi, who later made a speech via video link.
Mainland Chinese media described Wang as appearing to be nervous, and speculated an intensified power struggle among the country’s leadership.
Wang’s close aide Dong Hong was investigated for corruption last year, fueling rumors of disharmony.
The Boao Forum for Asia is attended by government leaders, senior officials and business executives. It was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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