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Chinese President Xi Jinping vanished from state media for more than half a month. Was he at the seaside resort of Beidaihe? There have been no clues. (Nikkei montage/Source photos by AP and Reuters) 
China up close

China's stealthy conclave adds to annual guessing game

Did Xi Jinping host summer gathering in Beidaihe? Mystery thickens

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- Has China's annual summer ritual, the unofficial meetings between incumbent leaders and party elders at the seaside resort of Beidaihe, taken place this year?

The extended absence of the top leadership from state media -- the whereabouts of President Xi Jinping was unknown for more than half a month -- suggested that something was happening. Yet there were none of the usual hints that the government drops to informally announce that the leaders were gathered in the Hebei Province beach town.

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