World

Social media abuzz over Jiang's appearance

BEIJING Rumoured to have died a few months ago, 91-year-old former Chinese president Jiang Zemin roused social media users yesterday by taking a prominent place at the Communist Party Congress.

Proving that reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated, Mr Jiang sat next to President Xi Jinping and stood for the national anthem.

Many Chinese Internet users gushed over the elderly "frog" - an affectionate nickname inspired by Mr Jiang's wide grin and bespectacled eyes - marvelling over the apparently still hale nonagenarian in postings sprinkled with frog emojis.

"I want to ask about his secret for longevity," said one posting on social network Weibo.

"How many organs must he have had replaced to be standing in the middle of the stage," asked another, before China's notorious Internet censors swooped in to delete most of the postings within a couple of hours.

Guided into his chair by two ushers, Mr Jiang and his oversized glasses stood out in the crowd of dark-suited party leaders.- AFP

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