Unsubstantiated speculation swirled Saturday morning that Chinese President Xi Jinping has been locked down in isolation amid a potential coup.
Far East expert Gordon Chang said the rumor is likely "untrue," but he noted there is something unusual going on in China and "there is turbulence" among the Chinese Communist Party leadership.
"The lack of news from #China over the last few hours suggests coup rumors are untrue, but whatever happened inside the #Chinese military during the last three days — evidently something unusual occurred — tells us there is turbulence inside the senior #CCP leadership," Chang tweeted Saturday morning.
That tweet came after Friday night's tweet suggesting where there is smoke, there is likely fire, according to Chang.
"This video of military vehicles moving to #Beijing comes immediately after the grounding of 59% of the flights in the country and the jailings of senior officials," Chang tweeted. "There's a lot of smoke, which means there is a fire somewhere inside the #CCP. #China is unstable."
There have been reports of flights being grounded in China, and even trains and buses going into the capital city of Beijing have been halted, Newsweek reported Saturday.
The internet rumors had China's People's Liberation Army potentially staging a coup against Xi, but there was also reports of a planned military exercise that led to the grounding of flights.
"We've seen all these rumors coming out," retired Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt told Newsmax's "America Right Now" host Tom Basile. quot;WeChat is saying the same things, but so far I'm with Gordon Chang: This is probably untrue, but what we are seeing is something is up internally in China, and I think at a minimum you're seeing the Chinese Communist Party have internal friction and information warfare against these factions in advance of the Congress, which would essentially make Xi Jinping chairman for life.
"Much more to come, but this is a very interesting and potentially dangerous time in China."
Former Amb. Kurt Volker told Newsmax's "Saturday Report" that a coup attempt "would be very surprising to hear."
"I think he has been able to rule China with a great deal of control, and for something like that to happen would be truly extraordinary," Volker told host Rita Cosby.
China has recently warned the U.S. about the "dangerous signals" regarding Taiwan, an island nation China still hopes to retain influence over and an area some have speculated might be vulnerable to an invasion like Vladimir Putin has done in Ukraine.
"If you look at Chinese interests, which is the way China looks at things, they're not driven by Russia's interests," Volker told host Rita Cosby. "China sees itself as a rising, growing power — not a weakening power. They definitely want to get Taiwan back, but they also believe time is on their side."
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