After days of speculation about the death of China’s ex-leader Jiang Zemin, the country’s state media on Thursday denied Jiang’s death saying the death reports are “pure rumor”.
“Recent reports of some overseas media organizations about Jiang Zemin’s death from illness are ‘pure rumor,'” Xinhua on Thursday reported, citing authoritative sources.
After the report, Asia Television Ltd (ATV) made a public apology for Jiang’s death report saying “We apologize to the audience, Jiang Zemin and his family.”
ATV on Wednesday first reported Jiang died of a heart attack or lung cancer through its evening Cantonese newscast. But later, ATV confirmed there are no official reports of Jiang’s death, and the station threw out the earlier report.
“ATV is aware of the Xinhua News Agency report made this afternoon, and has retracted its report last night about the death of Mr. Jiang,” ATV said.
The Speculation of Jiang Zemin’s death widely spread on microblogging sites after Jiang’s absence from the 90th birthday of the Chinese Communist Party.
China government and the state media did not respond immediately. This raised the Speculation about Jiang Zemin’s death.
Foreign media said any questions of Jiang’s health may compromise the party’s stability and dominance due to Jiang’s considerable influence over the party.
However, China’s official denial and ATV’s public apology would end Jiang’s death rumor.
Jiang served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People’s Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2004. Under Jiang’s leadership, China experienced substantial developmental growth with reforms and saw the peaceful return of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom and Macau from Portugal.
International Business Times