On the night of July 4, social networks in China lit up with a rumor that the former Chinese President, Jiang Zemin, had died. I watched the speculation flicker across my computer screen before deciding that, since I live only a few blocks from Jiang’s sprawling Shanghai compound, I should venture outside to see if anything was afoot.
Overseas media reports that former Chinese President Jiang Zemin died from illness are “pure rumor,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported today, citing “authoritative sources” it didn’t further identify.
Xi Jinping today completes his first year as China’s leader with the greatest individual sway over his nation since Deng Xiaoping, a feat that raises the stakes on delivering on pledges for economic and social change.
The Chinese entrepreneur and the Peruvian shopkeeper have never met. Yet Li Shiping’s dream of riches and success in China is uprooting Victor Raul Ancieta’s village 18,000 kilometers (11,000 miles) away in the Andes.
China’s silence on Vice President Xi Jinping’s 12-day absence from public view contrasts with past rebuttals of speculation about top officials and is escalating concern over the nation’s leadership succession.