Is Jiang Zemin dead or alive?
No one is sure, but China's state-owned Xinhua News Agency just published a news update saying they have it on good authority that his death is pure rumor.
The Xinhua release was very terse:
BEIJING - Recent reports of some overseas media organizations about Jiang Zemin's death from illness are 'pure rumor,' Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday, citing authoritative sources.
That's it, folks. That's the full text.
Yesterday, Chinese social media was abuzz with rumors that the former leader of the People's Republic of China had died after he was absent from last week's celebrations of the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Some said Jiang died of heart disease, others said he suffered from cancer.
Internet censors are quick to snap up any mention of Jiang's death on popular search engines like Sogou.com. Viewers are blocked by China's Great Firewall whenever they click on any story referring to the ex-leaders potential demise.