Retired official Jia Qinglin spotted at summer retreat, defying rumours he was detained

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 July, 2014, 4:04pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 July, 2014, 2:50am

Jia Qinglin, a retired former top party leader, made a rare public appearance yesterday in what is widely seen by analysts as an attempt to dismiss rumours circulating on social media he had been detained over graft allegations.

Jia, who was the fourth ranked official in the Communist Party until he retired in 2012, visited Changshou Mountain in Hebei province on Wednesday morning, a staff member with the tourism centre said.

Jia, 74 stayed at the site for about an hour and was seen by many tourists, said the staff member, who did not give her name. Photographs of the visit circulated on social media, showing an apparently relaxed Jia in a blue shirt and black trousers.

Rumours that he has been detained for alleged graft circulated on social media last week.

The reports said Jia, the former head of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, had been detained in Hohhot in Inner Mongolia.

He was last seen on a public visit in March at a car company's factories in Xiangyang and Shiyan in Hubei province.

Jia is said to be an ally and protégé of former president Jiang Zemin .