For a long time, the idea that Xi Jinping would hand himself a third consecutive term as China’s President has appeared inevitable. Therefore, when the Internet was suddenly confronted with unverified but detailed reports that so-called ‘President for Life’ Xi was under house arrest in Beijing, and had been the victim of a coup, there was a considerable buzz.

China, which is Constitutionally governed by the Communist Party, had put in place safeguards since the time of its famed liberaliser Deng Xiaoping to ensure no paramount leader would have more than 2 terms, totaling 10 years.

This came after the unending horrors of the Mao Zedong years. And until Xi Jinping stepped into office, Chinese leaders had abided.

But under the current CCP strongman, the Constitution of China has been altered, and the next Communist Congress appeared all set to retain Xi for an unprecedented third term. However, reports online have now claimed that when Xi Jinping returned from Samarkand and the SCO summit, he was taken into custody. A coup had apparently been staged by his predecessor Hu Jintao, military leaders, and others.

New rumour to be checked out: Is Xi jingping under house arrest in Beijing ? When Xi was in Samarkand recently, the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party were supposed to have removed Xi from the Party’s in-charge of Army. Then House arrest followed. So goes the rumour. — Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) September 24, 2022

The buzz has been subject to inconclusive fact-checks, difficult as it is to glean an accurate picture of what’s happening in China.

There are online flight tracking tools reporting that there’s been a mystifying drop in flight activity at Beijing airport, in particular, that flights aren’t departing.

There’s a video being shared online that claims a kilometres-long military convoy moving to a locked-down Beijing.

#PLA military vehicles heading to #Beijing on Sep 22. Starting from Huanlai County near Beijing & ending in Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, entire procession as long as 80 KM. Meanwhile, rumor has it that #XiJinping was under arrest after #CCP seniors removed him as head of PLA — Jennifer Zeng 曾錚 (@jenniferatntd) September 23, 2022

The SCO summit had been Xi’s first visit abroad since the COVID outbreak, a time from which the world’s perception of China has been dramatically altered.

So what’s the truth about the so-called ‘Coup against Xi?’ For all the videos, claims, buzz and contrary fact-checks, for the moment, and until some kind of show of strength or formal statement from the CCP, it really is anyone’s guess.