A state-owned Chinese paper attributed comments on the death of an ex-Communist party official to prospective president Xi Jinping, who has been out of the public eye for 10 days, Reuters reported. Xi and other senior officials “expressed their grief and heartfelt sympathies through various means to the relatives of Huang Rong,” Communist Party mouthpiece Guangxi Daily reported Wednesday night. An official explanation has yet to be given for Xi’s more than one-week absence, during which he missed appointments with high-ranking dignitaries. Questions on Xi’s absence were put again to Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei Thursday, who responded, “I have already answered this question many times.” Commentators’ opinions vary on the significance of Xi’s absence. Tokyo based economist Xiao Minjie said he would only start drawing conclusions if Xi fails to appear at China’s national day celebrations on October 1.