Just some days before, a video posted on Twitter showed a troop of tanks and armored vehicles on Yufa bridge in Beijing.

Chinese media outlet Kanzhongguo reported that China’s 38th Armed Army was entering Beijing.

Netizens were concerned about this event. One wondered if this was a coup or an anti-coup. Meanwhile, another netizen said that tanks have been used when a communist leader is replaced. Who benefits from the social unrest? Is Xi losing grip of his power? 

So, is there a risk of a coup in the upcoming 20th Party Congress?

In the context of the upcoming 20th Party Congress, the closer the meeting date, the more fierce internal affairs become.

Chinese language media outlet Da Ji Yuan held private interviews with experts on Xi’s major crisis and what he is doing to prevent a coup or being replaced.

Australian-based jurist Yuan Hongbing noted that Xi Jinping himself is in a great crisis. He is dealing primarily on numerous fronts, including economic, political, and social issues. 

Politically, Xi Jinping relied on and controlled a few cronies in different areas, such as the army. He also formed a system that enforced spy rule over officials called “Jinyiwei”—an internet equivalent of an ancient system that transfers information through points.

However, Hongbing said that more than 90% of officials in the Chinese government are now disaffected and resentful of Xi Jinping.

Wang Youqun, a former member of the Politburo Standing Committee, believes it is vital for Xi to win the 20th National Congress. According to Wang, Xi Jinping took some steps to prevent a coup.

On January 1, during the second plenary session of the Sixth Plenary Meeting of the 19th Central Committee, Xi Jinping issued a warning to political opponents. He demanded that those who participate in political gangs, small circles, and interest groups within the Party be thoroughly investigated and punished.

Chinese President Xi Jinping issued the Central Military Commission’s Order No. 1 in 2022 on January 4. It mandates the military to “accurately grasp the changes in national security and military struggles, keep an eye on changes in science and technology, changes in warfare, and changes in opponents.”

According to Wang Youqun, Xi ordered the military to escort him. 

The arrival of the 38th army group in Beijing raises a lot of concerns

The fact that the army marched to Beijing was not a matter, but the arrival of the 38th Army in Beijing did raise concerns of subversive riots. To many people, there are recurring historical incidents such as the 319 coup scenario in March 2012.

According to the Chinese language media outlet Kanzhongguo, Zhou Yongkang, former Secretary of the Politburo Standing Committee, launched the campaign in Beijing on March 19. Zhou Yongkang had 800,000 police officers, and armed police guarded his office. 

On March 19, Commander Xu Linping dispatched troops of the 38th Army Group to the center of Beijing. The soldiers of the 38th Army Group confronted the armed police in the leaders’ office area.

As the Chinese language media outlet Kanzhongguo reported, this army group is also equipped with the most advanced weapons. Moreover, this army group can also be seen in major wars in China in the past.

In addition, China’s 38th army group was the first batch of troops to enter Beijing in 1989, but they did not participate in the massacre of students and residents. 

Kanzhongguo reported that the 38th army group participated in three battles to the south of the Yangtze river, and four battles in the Siping and Liaoshang campaigns in the Kuomintang war.

During the Korean war—known as the war to resist the U.S. and support the Koreans—the 38th army group was sent to the frontline.

Whether Xi Jinping faces a confrontation remains a question. However, the riot corps that brought forces to Beijing is showing the possibility of a coup. Amid the current depressive situation caused by natural disasters, Covid measures, economic crisis, and the preparation for the upcoming National Congress, we’ll see how China goes through such a historical period.

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