Chinese president Xi Jinping
Chinese president Xi Jinping Reuters

Social media was flooded with rumors that Chinese President Xi Jinping was under house arrest as a military coup against him was underway in China, but is there any truth to this?

#ChinaCoup trended on Twitter after thousands of users spread unverified rumors about Xi being detained and overthrown by the People’s Liberation Army.

Canceled flights out of Beijing and the decrease of flights over China's capital on Saturday further fueled speculations.

According to Newsweek, there were also unverified reports of other modes of public transportation, such as trains and buses, out of Beijing were also canceled.

While rumors of the military coup circulated, a video spread on Twitter supposedly showing that there was a a line of military vehicles about 80 kilometers long on its way to Beijing.

But with the video lasting only a minute long, it did not show if the vehicles really stretched that far. It is also not certain when or where the video was filmed.

Indian politician Subramanian Swany even fueled the buzz circulating all over social media on Saturday and tweeted to his 10 million followers: "New rumour to be checked out: Is Xi Jinping 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."

But Drew Thompson, a former US Department of Defense official for China, Taiwan and Mongolia, dismissed the rumors on Twitter as a "complete falsehood."

"The rumor that Xi Jinping has been arrested has legs because it is such a sensitive political moment in China, and the recent trials (and convictions) of long-serving senior officials create a hothouse atmosphere," Thompson tweeted.

CNN correspondent and world affairs columnist, Frida Ghitis also commented on the waves of talks about the Chinese president and the military coup and called them "wild rumors.”

"Social media buzzing with claims that there has been a coup in China, that Xi Jinping is under house arrest. But there is no evidence that this is true," Ghitis said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a news conference, displayed on a television screen
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a news conference, displayed on a television screen at a shopping area on June 30, 2022 in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its handover from Britain to China on July 1. Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

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