Bloomberg‘s Adam Minter kept scanning the Jiang compound in Shanghai on Thursday, for evidence that former party and state chairman Jiang Zemin might be dead. China Daily cited Xinhua as saying that recent reports of some overseas media organizations about Jiang Zemin’s death from illness are “pure rumor”. (Hong Kong, some of who’s media were apparently among those reporting, may not qualify as overseas, though.)
It was Jiang’s absence from the CCP’s 90th-birthday ceremonies which had put the coffin-spotters on alert.
Mr. Jiang’s surprising, and very obvious, absence is now certain to fuel rumors circulating in Beijing in recent months that he may be severely unwell, and therefore losing his ability to influence key Party decisions,
the Wall Street Journal‘s (WSJ) China Blog wrote on July 1. While Xi Jinping is believed to be firmly appointed as Hu Jintao‘s successor, in all the capacities as party chairman, state chairman, and head of the central military commission, and while Li Keqiang is likely to become Wen Jiabao‘s successor as chief state councillor, many of the seats within the politbureau’s standing committee may still be up for grabs.