China's Xi to return to diplomatic duties at Asean meet
SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China's leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping will attend a meeting with South-east Asian nations later this week, the Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday, signalling his return to diplomatic duties after skipping a series of events with foreign dignitaries.
Vice-President Xi had been out of the public eye for almost two weeks, missing meetings with foreign leaders that included United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, prompting rumours of ill health or worse. Mr Xi reappeared on Saturday at a Beijing university.
He will now be heading to the southern region of Guangxi to attend a trade fair for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) which opens on Friday, the Foreign Ministry said.
"Vice-President Xi Jinping and Asean leaders will attend the opening ceremony and other important activities," the ministry said in a brief statement on its website (www.mfa.gov.cn).