Flights in and out of Beijing are now back to normal, dealing yet another blow to rumours of a military coup in China!
Claim : Beijing Flights Were Cancelled By Coup In China!
The Internet has been abuzz for days with claims that there is a military coup underway in China, after over 6,000 domestic and international flights in and out of Beijing were just cancelled!
On top of that, about 60% of flights (about 9,583 flights) were cancelled across China on Wednesday, 21 September 2022.
- Beijing Capital International Airport canceled 622 flights, with a 60% cancellation rate.
- Shanghai Pudong International Airport had 652 cancelations of flights, with a 54% cancellation rate
- Shenzhen Baoan Airport’s 542 flights were canceled, with a 51% cancellation rate
- Guiyang Longdongbao Airport (Guizhou Province): 539 flights canceled, with a 99% cancellation rate
- Lhasa Gongga Airport (Tibet): 157 flights canceled, with a 98% cancellation rate
- Chengdu Tianfu Airport (Sichuan Province): 752 flights canceled, with a 87% cancellation rate
- Urumqi Diwobao Airport (Xinjiang): 476 flights; with a 79% cancellation rate
- Tianjin Binhai International Airport (about 84 miles east of Beijing): 353 flights; with a 74% cancellation rate
- Harbin Taiping Airport (Heilongjiang Province): 275 flights canceled; with a 56% cancellation rate
- Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (Shaanxi Province): 555 flights canceled; with a 56% cancellation rate
- Nanjing Lukou International Airport (Jiangsu Province): 378 flights canceled; with a 54% cancellation rate
- Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (Guangdong Province): 560 flights canceled, with a 40% cancellation rate
The number of flights to and from Beijing continued to decline from Wednesday until Saturday.
Beijing Flights Back To Normal, No Coup In China!
Although flights in and out of Beijing continued to be few through the weekend, it was soon restored by Monday, 26 September 2022.
The flight tracking site flightradar24 now shows air traffic back to normal at the Beijing Capital International Airport, and the Beijing Daxing International Airport.
Other airports across China were also operating as normal, with no mass cancellations that we saw earlier.
There has been no official word on why so many flights were cancelled, but flight cancellations are rather common in China. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, when flights have been grounded with little or no warning.
While most of the world is relaxing COVID-19 measures and opening up, China is still persisting with its Zero COVID policy. Hence, it is certainly possible that those flights are being cancelled to protect Beijing from COVID-19 outbreaks / surges in other parts of China.
The Beijing Capital International Airport, incidentally, regularly ranks as one of the airports with the most cancellations in the world.
The Chinese news portal Netease said that the cancellations were mainly due to the recent COVID-19 surges in multiple provinces in China, which makes quite a lot of sense.
Beijing is preparing to host 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on 16 October 2022.
This is a major twice-a-decade meeting for the CCP, and one in which President Xi Jinping is expected to be re-elected as General Secretary for an unprecedented third term.
While the 20th National Congress is really just a rubber-stamp event, it is critical for President Xi that his Zero COVID policy is seen to work. Hence, it is critical that Beijing has no COVID-19 outbreak at that time.
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Former Chinese investigative journalist Zhao Lanjian, however, suggested that the flights may have been cancelled due to a military exercise.
China Coup Rumours : Much Ado About Nothing
However, these “evidence” of a coup in China have not withstood serious analysis.
- There is no evidence of an 80 km-long military convoy entering Beijing.
- The viral video shows a minute or so of several military vehicles travelling on a highway, nothing more.
- There is no evidence of any lockdown of Beijing, which would certainly occur during a military coup.
- While there was a large number of cancelled flights in Beijing airports, quite a number of commercial flights were still allowed to fly in and out.
- Airports in the rest of China were generally functioning normally, even though there were some cancelled flights.
- Flight cancellation is pretty common in China, especially when it comes to COVID-19 mitigation.
- Commercial air traffic in and out of Beijing was restored by Monday, 26 September 2022.
- Xi Jinping issued two letters a day after he was supposedly under house arrest after being overthrown.
- Sun Lijun and his anti-Xi Jinping “political clique” were sentenced to long jail sentences.
- CCP delegates were “elected” as expected, together with Xi Jinping himself.
- CCP mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, reaffirmed Xi Jinping as the party’s “core”.
To top it off, the CCP is continuing its business as usual, firming up support for Xi Jinping’s third term at the upcoming CCP Congress.
The People’s Daily editorial seals the case for Xi Jinping’s toppling in a military coup. That was nothing more than the wishful thinking of netizens who despise him, fuelled by unverified claims.
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