Jiang Zemin's appearance ends rumours of his death
Thinner, balder, but most assuredly not dead, the former leader of China, Jiang Zemin, made a rare public appearance yesterday to scotch a summer of speculation that he had died.
The 85-year-old was shown in photographs wearing his trademark dark blue suit, red tie and big, black square-rimmed glasses talking to China's president Hu Jintao at a ceremonial event in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to mark 100 years since the revolution that overthrew imperial rule.
Hong Kong news outlets reported unattributed rumours during the summer that he had died. The speculation followed his non-appearance at another anniversary event, namely the 90th year since the foundation of the ruling Communist Party.
State media ran denials but the rumours of his demise ran wild across the internet prompting censors to block online searches about the man who led the country during a period of great change after the crushing of the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement until he handed over power in 2002.
While Mr Jiang is no longer a figure of importance politically, he has a residual influence because he was crucial in implementing economic reforms launched by Deng Xiaoping. He was also famous for the way he cultivated always-tense relations with the United States.
China is generally very secretive about leadership issues and the topic is again high on the party's agenda with next year's Communist Party congress expected to confirm a transition in China's leadership from Hu Jintao – the successor of Jiang Zemin – to current party grandee and apparently anointed successor Xi Jinping.
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 4 Russia has made 'big miscalculation' over Ukraine warns Hague
- 5 Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...