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Missing Chinese leader rumoured to have cancer

New rumours about the health of the leader-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, swirled yesterday as he was quoted by state media for the first time in days.

The Communist Party website said he had expressed his condolences after the death of a former general, but 12 days after he dropped from sight Mr Xi has still not been photographed or seen in public.

Hong Kong's Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said he had undergone cancer surgery.Officials in Beijing refused to comment.