Tran Dai Quang, Vietnamese President dies aged 61 after illness

Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi on September 13. Official media say

Rumours of his illness had circulated on social media for months, and there was no significant reaction in Vietnam's benchmark index.VNI.

Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang has died in the hospital from a "serious illness despite efforts by domestic and worldwide doctors and professors", state media reports.

Quang, 61, died in hospital on Friday morning from a "serious illness despite efforts by domestic and worldwide doctors and professors", Vietnam Television reported.

Quang hailed from a small farming community 115 km (70 miles) south of Hanoi, rising through party ranks to become a police general and Politburo member.

Quang, one of the country's top three leaders but with mostly ceremonial duties, hosted President Donald Trump during his first state visit to the communist country past year.

At one of his last appearances was during a visit by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Hanoi on September 11.

Quang had been President of Vietnam since April 2016 after spending more than 4 decades at the powerful Ministry of Public Security and was known as a tough leader with little tolerance for dissent.

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Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang meets with Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi at the Presidential Palace during the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi, Vietnam last week.

State media made a somber announcement of his death Friday and celebrated his long commitment to public service.

In May, at the time of the Vietnamese Communist Party's Seventh Plenum, The Diplomat reported that there were rumors Quang would be replaced "on account of health".

As head of MPS, Quang had a reputation as tough and influential in the inner circles of the communist party, though he often appeared uncomfortable in the public eye and lacked the charisma of some of his peers in the party's upper echelons.

Quang was appointed to the role in April, 2016.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.

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