Rumors circulate about former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin's critical health

A source told a media outlet about an ‘unusual gathering’ of Jiang’s family members

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping, sitting between his predecessors Hu Jintao (left) and Jiang Zemin. (File Photo)

Chinese leader Xi Jinping, sitting between his predecessors Hu Jintao (left) and Jiang Zemin. (File Photo) (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Rumors are rife about the health of former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin (江澤民) as a media report on Oct. 17 suggested that he is in critical condition with his extended family gathering at the same location on Oct. 16.

It is the second time news surfaced about Jiang being allegedly seriously ill this month, following a report on Oct. 3, wrote Liberty Times.

Citing an exclusive piece of breaking news run by the Chinese media outlet Bowen Press (博聞社) on Oct. 17, the report said a source from Shanghai, who spoke on condition of anonymity, gave an account of an “unusual meeting” among family members of the retired top Chinese politician, which could signal the former leader’s worsened health state. The Bowen Press report has been removed.

Speculations about the deteriorating health of the 92-year-old political veteran, along with former Chinese Premier Li Peng (李鵬), 89, have run rampant over the past years. Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) had reportedly ordered a special medical team to spare no effort ensuring the wellbeing of the senior Communist cadres ahead of China’s National Day on Oct. 1, wrote Liberty Times.

The appearance of the nonagenarian former president in a policy speech delivered by Xi last year sparked heated discussions among China’s netizens, who were surprised to see him “alive” after months of health rumors, with some suggesting “he’s getting younger and younger,” reported the Guardian.