LONGEVITY

Chinese woman who claims to be 127 would be oldest person ever to have lived

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 August, 2013, 8:56am

A woman from a town near Kashgar in Xinjiang has been identified as the oldest living person in China, and would - at 127 - be the world's oldest ever if confirmed by Guinness World Records.

Alimihan Seyiti was born on June 25, 1886, in the waning years of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), the Xinjiang Daily reported yesterday. A research party from the China Gerontological Society went to Kashgar last week, where they identified eight centenarians living in Shule county.

Wang Feng, the society's deputy secretary general, told the Xinjiang Daily the former oldest living person in China was Luo Meizhen from Guangxi province, a man born in 1885 who recently passed away on June 4, aged 128.

A spokesman for Guinness World Records in London said it was not aware of the report and the society should send them information so they could begin the verification process.

So who is officially the oldest living person? Find out here 

Seyiti told the Xinjiang Daily she loved children and enjoyed singing. She has kept up a habit of drinking cold water all year round, and was in good health. Xinjiang, which has a large Uygur population, has a reputation for long-living residents. In 1982, according to census data, Xinjiang had 22.5 per cent of the mainland's centenarians with just 1.3 per cent of the population.

If confirmed by world record authorities, Seyiti would formally replace the former oldest person recorded in history, Jeanne Calment from France, who died in 1997 at the age of 122. According to Guinness World Records, the oldest living person is Misao Okawa from Japan, who is 115.