Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang Dies at 61

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

Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang, one of the country's top three leaders but with mostly ceremonial duties, died on Friday after an illness, state television and radio announced.

He passed away from a "serious illness despite devoted treatment by professors and doctors" both in Vietnam and overseas, the official Vietnam News Agency said. The reports did not provide further information about Quang's illness.

"President Quang's legacy is a multi-year crackdown on human rights and putting more political prisoners behind bars in Vietnam than any time in recent memory", said Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director, Human Rights Watch.

Born in northern Ninh Binh province, Quang attended a police college and rose through the ranks at various positions at the Ministry of Public Security before being appointed minister in 2011.

He served as Vietnam's president from April 2, 2016.

Quang hosted President Donald Trump during his first state visit to the communist country previous year.

Vietnam has no paramount ruler and is officially led by the president, prime minister and Communist Party chief.

Quang had appeared thin and pale in public, and was unstable on his feet last week when he hosted a welcoming ceremony for Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Hanoi last week.

Quang was a member the Politburo, the decision-making body of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

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 a year ago.

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