In an unusual denial Wednesday, the central government said ailing Vice-Premier Huang Ju, the sixth-ranked leader in China, has not died. "It is our understanding that news regarding [Huang's] death is totally wrong," said a spokesman of the cabinet office. The South China Morning Post reported that the Foreign Ministry also had no information on the matter. Phoenix Television in Hong Kong and The Times of London had earlier reported the death of Huang, 69, after a battle with cancer. Both cited unidentified sources. Huang left Shanghai for Beijing at the end of April and was admitted to the 301 People's Liberation Army Hosptial, where most leaders undergo treatment. In January, he failed to attend the funeral of Bo Yibo and reports indicated there was slim possibility of his recovery and the party had decided that Vice-Premier Wu Yi would act as executive vice-premier in his stead.
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