On September 21, the CCP held a seminar on defense and military reform in Beijing.

According to Tass Russian News Agency, at the meeting, Xi Jinping said, “It is imperative to conscientiously summarize and apply successful experience in reforms, to master new situations and understand the requirements of the tasks, to focus on preparing for wars, and to have the courage to explore and innovate.”

According to current affairs expert Li Muyang, this is not the first time Xi has emphasized the issue of “preparing for wars.” No one is a stranger to Xi’s remark, but another incident on the same day, added a bit more speculation.

On September 21, many airports in China canceled flights, with nearly 60% of flights canceled. Was it a coincidence it happened on the same day as the speech or are the two related?

Li said that initially, some mainland netizens posted screenshots of a group chat. Shanghai Pudong Airport canceled 381 flights, Shanghai Hongqiao Airport canceled 145 flights; Changzhou Benniu Airport, Jiangsu province canceled 41 flights; Nanjing Lukou Airport, Jiangsu province canceled 218 flights; Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, Guangdong province canceled 295 flights; and Xiamen Gaoqi Airport, Fujian province canceled 184 flights.

Checking the information, Li confirmed that a large number of flights had been canceled across the country. Not just not coastal area airports canceled flights but even Tibet had large-scale flight cancellations.

After verifying the information, Zhao Lanjian, a former media person in mainland China, also confirmed that “more than half of the flights have been canceled” across China. A screenshot showed that as of 10:49 a.m. local time, 6,792 out of 12,932 scheduled flights had been canceled. The number of canceled flights then continued to increase, by around 10 p.m. on September 21, a total of 7,807 flights had been canceled.

Because many flights were suddenly canceled, many people were looking for the reason. The mainland’s First Financial newspaper posted on Weibo that, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, flight cancellations are “normal.”

VariFlight, a leader in global flight data services in China, also said the reason for the large-scale flight cancellations was the pandemic. VariFlight even said that the status of flights across the country today is basically stable and normal, with no fluctuations.

However, Zhao said in a Twitter post that he made a special trip to ask an expert in the mainland, and the answer he received was very different from the claims by VariFlight and First Financial.

Zhao said, “The cancellations on this scale must be ordered by the military. Air traffic control is decided by the Chinese military, and then orders are given to the civil aviation authority. The airspace is reserved for the free flight of military aircraft. This is a military plan, or at least there are weapon drills.”

Below Zhao’s post, one netizen commented, “Only military directives can do this.”

In addition, The Epoch Times also gathered comments from netizens. They felt that whatever caused the cancellations was not the pandemic but “political or military” in nature.

Some netizens thought that perhaps this was similar to the Wendur Khan incident. (According to the book “A Brief History of the Great Cultural Revolution”, on September 13, 1971, the plane carrying China’s Vice Premier and Defense Minister Lin Biao and his wife and children crashed in Wendur Khan, Mongolia, everyone died).

Netizens speculated all kinds of scenarios, however, according to Li, among many different accounts, there are relatively many people who hold the opinion that “something big is about to happen.”

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