US delegation was notified around 11:00 pm Tuesday, that China's Vice President Xi Jinping would not be able to meet with visiting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as previously scheduled on Wednesday. Xi's two other meetings with foreign visitors, including Singapore's Lee Hsien Loong, were also cancelled.
Xi is due to become the fourth 'core' of the CCP upon the opening of the now postponed 18th National Congress of CCP, following steps of Chairman Mao, Designer Deng, Explorer Jiang and current core Mr. Hu Jintao. With airtight media control, little more is known except words from the US delegation, 'scheduling change due to a back injury.'
There had been uneasy suggestions that Xi might be sacked, based on some unexpected move in Beijing:
8/31/2012 Professor Deng of the Party School headed by Xi published a review of Hu's 10 years tenure as the core. The paper harshly criticized Hu's rule with a list of 'ten big blunders'.
9/1/2012 Li Zhanshu replaced Ling Jihua as CCP Central Committee's chief of staff. Ling is believed to be Hu's henchman, while Li is believed to be close to Xi. It is reported that Hu's Plan B to promote another henchman (Hu Chunhua) to Ling's place also failed.
9/1/2012 The National Congress keeps former Chongqing Party Chief Bo Xilai's membership after a validation process where four others were removed from the Congress. As a member of the Congress, Bo would not be subject to being arrested under Chinese law.
Unverifiable sources said Xi called two meetings with military brasses without notifying Hu while Hu was away visiting Hong Kong in July.
Back injury? Perhaps Xi was stabbed by a hit man of his political rival; or maybe nationally famed singer Peng Liyuan (Xi's current wife) had demanded too much on bed the night before.
Some read the sudden change of schedule as a gesture of protest on US's support to Japan's claim of Diaoyu Islands. Japanese government formally included the disputed islands into its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), overlapping with Taiwan's ADIZ.
Some agreed with the Diaoyu Islands theory, but pointed to an opposite direction. Xi avoided showing a stiff face to US as the next core as he would have to under the intensified situation over Diaoyu Islands dispute.
Is Xi's absence a drama, suspense, thriller, adventure, action, romance or a comedy? Regardless, without a free media, citizens have to speculate all possible scenarios with help of some wild imaginations.