China's Xi cited in state media as health rumours fly
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China has issued its first public communication from president-in-waiting Xi Jinping since his unexplained disappearance from the public eye ignited rumours over his health last week.
Mr Xi, who has skipped meetings with visiting leaders and senior officials over the past week, was cited by state media late on Wednesday night as expressing condolences to the family of a veteran Communist Party official who died last week.
Senior officials including President Hu Jintao and Mr Xi,"expressed their grief and heartfelt sympathies through various means to the relative of Huang Rong", the China News service said. It did not directly quote Mr Xi.
But Beijing has still not issued a statement directly responding to rumours over the 59-year-old's health, which have included a bad back and heart trouble.