Vietnam’s president died Friday following a months-long struggle with a viral illness, the country’s state media has confirmed. Tran Dai Quang died in a military hospital in Hanoi at age 61. Vietnam doesn’t have one leader—there’s the president, prime minister, the chief of its Communist Party, and the national assembly chair—and Quang’s role was largely ceremonial. “He began showing symptoms of illness in June last year and has been treated in Japan six times since,” said one official. “He suffered from a kind of highly virulent virus, for which there has not been any efficient treatment.” He hosted a reception for China’s supreme court chief on Wednesday before succumbing to illness, state-run newspaper Vietnam News said,. The national assembly will select a new president later this year.
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