Speculation On Chinese President Xi's Health Grows After His Recent European Trip

China's President Xi Jinping arrives for the third plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 12, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Wall Street Journal: Xi’s Unsteady Steps Revive Worries Over Lack of Succession Plan in China

Speculation on Chinese leader’s health fuels concern about one-man rule

BEIJING—Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent European tour produced much pageantry, from ceremonial welcomes to banquets, that boosted his image. For some observers, it was his unusual gait that caught the eye.

Television coverage of Mr. Xi’s visits to Italy, Monaco and France last month appeared to show him walking with a slight limp while inspecting honor guards and touring local sights. At a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Mr. Xi gripped both arms on his chair to support himself as he sat down, news footage showed.

These images stirred speculation about Mr. Xi’s health among politically minded Chinese, foreign diplomats and China watchers, who quietly wondered if the Chinese leader, who turns 66 in June, had an ailment that caused him physical discomfort. Guessing games have played out on overseas Chinese news outlets and social media, where users offered theories from muscle sprains to gout.

Mr. Xi has been publicly visible in China since the trip, including an appearance on a warship on Tuesday during a celebration of the 70th anniversary of China’s navy.

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WNU Editor: He looked good at yesterday's Chinese Navy celebrations, and he definitely did not exhibit any health problems.

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