The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping’s excessive security measures during his overseas visits have recently garnered attention from international media. Last month, Mr. Xi traveled to South Africa for the BRICS summit but unexpectedly skipped an important scheduled speech at the business forum on Aug. 22. Instead, Wang Wentao, the CCP’s minister of commerce, read the speech for him at the forum. Similarly, at the G20 Summit in India, Mr. Xi was absent and Prime Minister Li Qiang took his place, sparking speculation.
Observers and overseas media have pointed out that Mr. Xi appears to fear assassination, leading him to miss important events and keep his whereabouts unpredictable. Furthermore, he seems unconcerned about how the outside world perceives him.
According to the Taiwanese media outlet Shanghai Daily, prior to the BRICS summit, South African police confirmed that Mr. Xi not only brought a delegation of 500 people but also booked all the rooms in two hotels for the summit. Chinese authorities even transported furniture from China to completely redecorate Mr. Xi’s suite, replacing everything with items from China. These extreme security measures are seen either as a display of wealth or as Mr. Xi’s concern for his personal safety.
During previous visits, Mr. Xi brought two Chinese-made bulletproof vehicles to Papua New Guinea, and when he visited Portugal, he spent two million euros to book all the rooms in the Ritz Hotel and widen the hotel garage door to accommodate the bulletproof vehicle he brought.
In an interview with a restaurant owner named Ren Jianyong in Tajikistan, it was revealed that during Mr. Xi’s visit in 2014, Ren’s restaurant provided all three meals per day for over 200 Chinese, including 150 members of Mr. Xi’s delegation. The catering was personally handled by chefs from the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.
Many commentators believe that Mr. Xi is constantly worried about being assassinated or overthrown. Wang Youqun, a columnist for the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times, suggests that the threats Mr. Xi faces are a result of his protection of the CCP. Wang argues that the party is deeply corrupt and poses a danger to Mr. Xi’s life. Nevertheless, Mr. Xi continues to prioritize the preservation of the party over his own safety.
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