A close aide of Jiang Zemin has accompanied the President on a tour of two northeastern provinces, scotching rumours that the official has been removed from duty for corruption. Xinhua yesterday reported that Jia Tingan, director of Mr Jiang's office, accompanied the President on a week-long tour to Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces. Mr Jia was described by the agency as one of the 'responsible officials of Central authorities'. Other members of the President's entourage included several Fourth Generation leaders such as his right-hand man, Organisation Department chief Zeng Qinghong, Vice-Premier Wen Jiabao, Planning Minister Zeng Peiyan and political adviser Wang Huning. A Hong Kong newspaper reported last month that Mr Jia had been removed from office for alleged violation of Communist Party discipline and his duties had been assumed by other colleagues. A spokesman from the State Council's Information Office later denied the report, saying it 'failed to match facts and was intended to spread rumour'. Xinhua said that Mr Jiang visited the mainland's most famous oil producer, the Daqing Oilfield, and the No 1 Automobile Plant in Changchun where the President had once worked as a director. The President also spoke with farmers, inspected three hi-tech companies and held discussions with cadres on the promotion of younger officials, the news agency said.