Saturday, September 15, 2012

China's Xi finally appears in public amid rumors over health

(Reuters) - Chinese leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping appeared in public on Saturday for the first time in about two weeks, visiting a Beijing university in what appeared to be an effort to dispel rumors of serious illness and a troubled succession.

In a brief English-language report that broke the official silence on his whereabouts, the Xinhua news agency said Vice President Xi had arrived at China Agricultural University in the morning for activities to mark National Science Popularisation Day.

A picture on the government's website ( showed a healthy-looking Xi, with a slight smile and wearing a black informal jacket over a white shirt, walking around the university.

A second picture, from Xinhua, showed a relaxed, laughing and gesticulating Xi inspecting ears of corn. Reuters had reported that Xi was likely to make an appearance on Saturday.

Sources said Xi hurt his back while swimming earlier this month and that he had been obeying doctors' orders to get bed rest and undergo physiotherapy. Read More