Chinese leader Xi Jinping seen in public after a fortnight
Beijing: Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who had not been in sight for two weeks, finally appeared in public on Saturday, reports said.
Jinping, the heir apparent to the country's leadership, who had not been seen in public since Sep 1, attended an event on Saturday to mark national science day, Xinhua news agency reported.
Mr Xi's visited to the China Agricultural University in Beijing on the occasion of national science day, China's official news agency reported with a photograph showing the vice-president smiling and walking with other officials, BBC reported.
Earlier On Thursday, the 59-year-old vice president's name appeared on a message of condolence following the Sep 6 death of a former official in Guangxi province.
The leader-in-waiting – Xi’s absence from the public domain fuelled lot of speculation about his health and power struggle within the Chinese Communist Party.
The rumours over Xi hyped so much so that China blocked Mr Xi's name on China's Twitter-like weibo micro-blogging sites.
Speculation about his health gained ground after he failed to keep up with the scheduled meetings with visiting dignitaries like US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt among others.
While officials informally said he suffered a back injury while swimming, foreign media reports speculated that he suffered a hearth attack or cancer to liver.
One report even said he sustained multiple injuries in a car accident along with another CPC leader.
Xi has become the most important figure in Chinese politics in recent months as he is set to succeed Hu both as President and General Secretary of the Party at the 18th Party Congress set to take place in the next few weeks.
He is set to take over power from Hu early next year. His prolonged absence has created speculation that elaborate succession plan worked out by the party has gone haywire.
With PTI Inputs