Mao Zedong's grandson, rumoured to be dead in North Korea accident, makes public appearance

A policeman keeping watch underneath the portrait of former Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - Mao Xinyu, the only grandson of China's paramount leader Mao Zedong, made a public appearance last week, silencing a rumour that he was among 32 Chinese tourists killed in a traffic accident in North Korea last month, Yonhap news agency reported.

A Hong Kong newspaper on Sunday (May 6) published a photo of Major General Mao visiting China State Shipbuilding Corp last Friday. He and other officials looked around the company research institute and laboratories, the report said.

The accident occurred on April 22 when a bus crashed off a bridge in North Hwanghae Province. Four North Koreans were also killed.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang the following day and expressed "deep sorrow", according to the North's state media.

The Chinese government publicly identified 26 victims but withheld the names of eight others. A media outlet reported that Maj Gen Mao, 48, was among the unidentified victims.

He is the only son of Mao Anqing, the last surviving son of Mao Zedong. Mao Anqing died in 2007. Mao Xinyu became China's youngest general in 2009. He is said to have visited North Korea five times.

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