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He Didn't Defect: Health Issues Prolonged Trip Abroad, Xinhua Editor Tells BBC

The headquarters and head office of Xinhua News Agency, in Beijing, China. Mi du/Imaginechina via AP Images hide caption

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Mi du/Imaginechina via AP Images

The headquarters and head office of Xinhua News Agency, in Beijing, China.

Mi du/Imaginechina via AP Images

Yesterday, we wrote about a handful of reports that the head of China's Xinhua News Agency had gone missing, following a trip to Oxford University.

Articles in The Daily Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald indicated Wan Wuyi may have defected or fled a corruption investigation.

Li Li, a reporter for the BBC's Chinese-language service, lays those rumors to rest. She spoke with Wan yesterday, at Xinhua's bureau in London, where he called the Internet scuttlebutt "unfounded."

Apparently, Wan did not return to China because of back pain. (In a video of the interview, he answers Li's questions prostrate.) He said a herniated disc has made it difficult for him to walk.

According to Global Times, "Mandy O'Sullivan, the secretary of the Spinal Unit at St. Luke's Hospital, confirmed ... they do have a patient named Wan Wuyi."