Power struggle has Xi leery of coup, assassination attempts

Power struggle has Xi leery of coup, assassination attempts
Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 3.

TOKYO - It was China's most important political event of the year, but the man in the spotlight looked exhausted.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, his eyelids swollen, wore a weary expression as he attended the annual session of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

"He looked absent-minded, like he was thinking about something else important," said one of the delegates to the event, held in Beijing from early March.

The seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the Chinese Communist Party's top decision-making body, were front and centre during the two-week session, giving foreign journalists and others in Beijing a rare chance to observe them up close.

The seven members include Premier Li Keqiang and Wang Qishan, who is in charge of disciplinary affairs, as well as Xi, who serves concurrently as the Communist Party's general secretary.

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