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China's VP Finally Appears in Public

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, front right, attends an activity to mark this year's National Science Popularization Day at China Agricultural University in Beijing, September 15, 2012.
China's Vice President, Xi Jinping, has appeared in public for the first time in two weeks, speaking to students and officials at China Agricultural University in Beijing.

State news agency Xinhua reports that Xi arrived at the university early Saturday for "activities marking this year's National Science Popularization Day.'' It gave no other details, but published photos showing a healthy-looking Xi examining plants, holding hands with children, and speaking to a group of adult men.

Xi had failed to appear at a number of meetings scheduled with foreign visitors since September 1, including visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Official silence regarding his whereabouts had fueled speculation that the 59-year-old Xi had suffered a mild stroke, heart attack, or back injury.

Xi is expected to take over as party leader later this year, and as president next year. But the party has failed to set a date for that leadership meeting.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.