Xi Jinping was accidentally introduced as “China’s last leader” in an article published by Xinhua on Sunday, in a rare mishap by the state mouthpiece.

The article was then reposted on other Chinese media websites.

Realising the mistake, Xinhua released a notice in the evening at 5:15pm asking those who have reposted the article to change it to “China’s top leader.”

However, as of this morning, most websites, including Xinhua, have since taken the offending article offline.

According to Ming Pao, this type of mistake is rare, especially for Xinhua. Information related to the Chinese president goes through strict scrutiny before being published and such a politically significant mistake is unfathomable.

Photo: Xinhua screenshot.

It is still unknown what consequences, if any, Xinhua will face for the mishap. Recently, a mainland tabloid editor was fired for juxtaposing Xi’s state media comments with a sea burial.

In December, four mainland Chinese journalists from China News were suspended for misreporting Xi Jinping’s resignation. The China News article made the correction that Xi had “given a speech”, instead of “resigned”, which had similar Chinese pronunciations – “zhici” and “cizhi” respectively.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.