According to VOA, on October 13, 2012, one month before the 18th National Congress, a picture showing a meeting between the former Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, with a leader from Shanghai Ocean University appeared on the university website. The picture was reportedly taken on October 9 when Jiang and his wife met with the university leader in Beijing. People’s Daily first carried the news on October 20; the rest of China’s major media followed.
Hong Kong China News Agency said it was Jiang’s first appearance in the past year. This seems to be contradictory to news reported by the oversea’s Chinese media on Jiang’s public appearance at an opera concert at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The news was published at the end of September, although it was believed to be a fake news report.
According to VOA, official media reports on whether Jiang is healthy or still active have always been considered an influential factor in the Party’s internal power shifts. The postings on microblogs showed that people were suspicious about the authenticity of this piece of news. Some were puzzled as to why this news made the headlines when it was about the former leader meeting with a representative from a university.
Source: VOA, October 20, 2012