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China's absent VP sparks rumors

  • Speculation is rife regarding the whereabouts of China's Vice President, Xi Jinping, who has not been seen for more than a week.

    The country’s leader-in-waiting canceled a meeting with the visiting Danish Prime Pinister Helle Thorning-Schmidt on Monday.

    Xi has already missed three scheduled appointments this week, including a Communist party meeting on Friday. Prior to that, he called off a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday.

    Rumors have emerged on news sites and Twitter ranging from Xi's possible involvement in a car accident to a power struggle.

    Attempts to search his name on Chinese micro-blogging sites have been blocked.

    Xi is due to take over from current Chinese President Hu Jintao at the five-yearly party congress next month.

    However, the dates of the meeting are yet to be announced, spurring speculation that some of the seats on the nine-member politburo Standing Committee have still not been allocated.