The Straits Times
Published on Oct 20, 2012

Former Chinese president Jiang in rare public appearance


BEIJING (AFP) - Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin has made a rare public appearance, state media reported on Saturday, ahead of a pivotal Communist Party congress that will usher in a new generation of leaders.

The 86-year-old Jiang, still considered an influential figure within China's ruling party, was photographed meeting leaders of the Shanghai Ocean University in Beijing, the People's Daily website and other media reported.

Mr Jiang and his wife Wang Yeping held a reception on Oct 9 for senior officials to celebrate the centenary of the university, which specialises in marine environment and fishing industry, the institution's website said.

The ex-leader told those present that "the 21st century is the century of the sea" and that "as a country with scarce natural resources, China must attach great importance to marine development", according to the site.