Former ideology tsar Li Changchun visited the Shaolin Temple in Henan on Saturday, the latest retired leader to make a public appearance.
Such displays are often seen as an attempt to signal support for current leaders or comfort to former allies.
Li is the third person from the previous nine-member supreme Politburo Standing Committee to have made a public appearance this month.
"Shaolin kung fu is useful for keeping in good health and physical shape. The culture should be more widely spread," Li told Shi Yongxin, abbot of the 1,500-year-old temple and chairman of the Henan Provincial Buddhists Association and a former deputy of the National People's Congress.
Early this month, former president Hu Jintao made a rare public appearance at a university in Hunan province. Mainland media reported Wu Bangguo , another retired member of the 17th Politburo Standing Committee, visited the White Cloud Temple, a Taoist institution in Beijing, on April 3.