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News of Xi Jinping’s treatment for a brain aneurysm has unleashed a storm of speculation about the leak.
What does it mean for Xi, the CCP, and the World?
Let’s start from the beginning. What is Brain Aneurysm (BA)? BA or subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a weak spot in the wall of a blood vessel inside the brain. It is similar to a weak spot in a balloon which when stretched might rupture. Like anything else, the blood vessels can get worn out from constant use channeling blood. Initially, the vessel may bulge into a bubble. Most cases of BA do not cause medical problems. In some cases they grow larger, leak or rupture causing bleeding in the brain – a hemorrhagic stroke – which can be life-threatening.
Some individuals can live their entire life with a BA which does not rupture or break and without knowing they have the condition. Patients who are constantly monitored, like high political official, for example, find out early and then it is up to the attending physician to decide whether the condition requires treatment. Early diagnosis is critical in the prevention of death. 20% of people with a BA have more than one.
In the US it is estimated that 1 in 50 people, or 6.5 million Americans, have an unruptured BA. For patients with BA the risk of rupture is quite low and has been estimated at 10 per 100,000 individuals with a BA, or 0.01%. A ruptured BA is fatal in about 50% of cases and 15% die before reaching hospital – a high mortality risk.
We understand from the news of Xi’s health condition that this is not the first time that Xi has been diagnosed with BA requiring treatment. This makes his condition even more serious than most cases of BA. A recurring condition of BA would be more serious than a single episode. The most common causes of BA are genetic predisposition (weak blood vessel walls) and hypertension or high blood pressure. The two conditions together would augment the risk. The intelligence indicates that Xi has suffered from this condition since an early age – which points to a genetic predisposition, perhaps aggravated by high blood pressure.
There is a risk that a BA will rupture. If a BA ruptures the blood will flow into and around the brain. This causes pressure inside around the brain tissue which may result in brain damage, stroke, reduced oxygen flow to the brain, coma, seizures.
The most common treatments for a BA are “surgical clipping” and the less-invasive “endovascular coiling (EC)”. Surgical clipping is invasive in that it requires opening the skull and inserting a clip on the neck of the aneurysm balloon to prevent the flow of blood into the balloon. EC, on the other hand, involves inserting a plastic tube into an artery (usually in the groin area), pushing this tube up into the BA and depositing detachable platinum wires there up to a 20-30% density of the aneurysm and thereby reducing the blood flow to the area. We understand that Xi was treated with EC, and perhaps has had this treatment before.
How did the diagnosis of Xi Jinping’s BA leak when the medical condition and histories of all top CCP officials are state secrets? Is there a link between the letter from Jia Qinglin and Wen Jiabao to Xi and the leaking of his medical condition?
Retired senior leaders of the Chinese Communist Party Jia Qinglin and Wen Jiabao, Xi Jinping’s most trusted people, sent him a letter of advice. These are the only two former CCP officials in all of China who have the guts to speak the truth to Xi. In the letter, they suggested that Xi step down to ensure the continuation of the CCP. Xi came to power largely on the reference Jia gave to then Premier Jiang Zemin. Wen is the one who helped Xi take out Bo Xilai, Xi’s main rival.
The letter from these two former officials also asked how long the CCP’s food supply could last; what was the solution to the financial chaos China faces as a result of US sanctions; would riots result from water and power shortages; would there be violence when the RMB currency was devalued; will China be able to survive the coming debt crisis; how many CCP members would still support the party when their overseas assets are frozen; is the CCP going to resist and defy the entire World concerning the CPP-virus investigation; what social unrest will result as the CCP turns inward and increases censorship?
Jia Qinglin: a retired senior leader of the People’s Republic of China and its ruling Communist Party. He was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the party’s highest ruling organ, between 2002 and 2012, and Chairman of the National Committee of the People’s Political Consultative Conference between 2003 and 2013. Source: Wikipedia
Wen Jiabao: a retired Chinese politician who served as the sixth Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China and serving as China’s head of government for a decade between 2003 and 2013.
We can see that the mood inside the CCP is not one of cohesion and agreement. Rather there is extreme division and partisanship regarding the decision by Xi to antagonize the US and the World. The CCP has treated China as their personal business for decades. They have skimmed profits off the top of the economy for the benefit of themselves and their families and have squirrelled these profits away offshore from Australia, Europe, the US and Canada by laundering the money through Hong Kong. Any leader who threatens this cozy arrangement by recklessly confronting the West and showing the utmost contempt for International norms, as Xi has, will naturally cause friction among the rank and file CCP members.
Is the leaking of the medical condition of Xi – which would normally be the subject of extreme secrecy – another attempt by Xi’s opponents within the CCP to weaken him and telegraph to the World and factions within the party that Xi no longer enjoys their support. Have the Cadres inside the CCP finally had enough of Xi’s destructive tendencies, and are we seeing the beginning of the end of the Xi era. And perhaps even the CCP?
 Cleveland Clinic, “Brain Aneurysm: Outlook/Prognosis”
 WebMD, “Brian Aneurysm”
 Stroke, “Prevalence and Risk of Rupture of Intracranial Aneurysms”, Gabriel Rinkel et al
 Brain Aneurysm Foundation, Statistics & Facts