China's President Xi coughs throughout speech, sparking health fears

China's President Xi violently coughs throughout speech, prompting speculation on his health, as state media cuts away each time he is forced to stop speaking Xi Jinping was giving a speech to party faithful in Shenzhen on Wednesday  Towards the end of his address, he was seen and heard repeatedly coughing  Cameras cut away from the President but he was heard spluttering on audio  Episode promoted his critics to speculate whether he has coronavirus 

By Chris Pleasance for MailOnline

Published: 16:16 BST, 15 October 2020 | Updated: 16:41 BST, 15 October 2020

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has been caught coughing his way through a speech to his cronies, sparking speculation about his health.

The Communist leader could be heard coughing repeatedly during the final ten minutes of a speech in Shenzhen, close to Hong Kong, on Wednesday. 

State TV repeatedly cut away from Xi during the bouts of coughing, but caught the moment he lifted his hand to his mouth.

Xi Jinping was caught repeatedly coughing during the closing minutes of a speech to party faithful in Shenzhen on Wednesday

Xi Jinping was caught repeatedly coughing during the closing minutes of a speech to party faithful in Shenzhen on Wednesday

Audio also caught the President spluttering and sipping from a glass of water in order to clear his throat.

The footage was seized upon by Xi's critics, particularly those in Hong Kong, who speculated about his health amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Apple TV, a pro-Hong Kong, anti-Communist party outlet, and Taiwanese TV stations, both ran the footage, noting that Xi 'coughed repeatedly'.

Apple TV also suggested that Xi subsequently cut his trip short and returned to Beijing, though MailOnline was unable to verify this. 

Meanwhile the Epoch Times, which is linked to the heavily-persecuted Falun Gong religious group, openly questioned whether Xi has the virus.

His visit to Shenzen came amid a tour of southern China, where he has been

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