Top cadre in hospital
NPC vice-chairman Xie Fei was seriously ill in a Beijing hospital yesterday.
The official China Central Television moved to quash speculation over the absence from the NPC session opening of the Politburo member and former Guangdong provincial party secretary.
It showed footage of Guangdong Party Secretary Li Changchun visiting Mr Xie, 67, in hospital.
There were rumours that Mr Xie had wanted to shun the political limelight after the collapse of financial institutions in Guangdong.
Mr Xie, the second-most senior of the 19 NPC vice-chairmen, did not take part in the two-day meeting of the NPC Standing Committee last week.
He was again absent at Monday's meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Macau Special Administrative Region, of which he is first deputy director.