Jiang Zemin, the former President of China, is alive the reports on his death are pure rumour, China's state-run news agency Xinhua said, Thursday.

Xinhua said the reports of Jiang's death by some overseas media organizations are pure rumours, citing authoritative sources, Thursday.

Rumors that Jiang may be dead spread on the Internet after the popular and respected leader failed to turn up at the the celebrations for the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Netizens did not hesitate to spread rumors on Chinese social media that Jiang was dead, probably due to cancer or a heart disease and the Chinese government was covering up news of his death.

The rumors about Jiang's death spread as the mainland government maintained a staunch silence on the issue.

Internet censorship only helped spur rumors and some newspapers ventured to offer reasons as to why the Chinese govt. is keeping news of Jiang's death a secret.

Nobody knows whether Jiang is dead or not as he was not seen in public for a long time. According to the offical report, Jiang attended the memorial ceremony for Qian Xuesen in Noverber, 2009, which is the last time he appeared in the public.

Zemin is one of the most respected and influential Chinese leaders and is credited for helping China become one of the fastest growing and biggest economies in the world.

Click on the slideshow to find out why the Chinese govt. took such a long time to announce that Zemin is alive and why the media still thinks Jiang is dead.

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