Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, 12 November 2017.
Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang died on Friday following a serious illness, state media said.
Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang has died on Friday, state television and radio announced.
A conservative figure of the communist regime, he had been seriously ill for months, but continued to perform his official duties despite visible fatigue and weight loss.
He was also the face of the regime on the global scene, in particular at the APEC summit hosted by Vietnam in November a year ago, when he assumed his role as host of the american president Donald Trump and chinese Xi Jinping, among others.
Vietnam has no paramount ruler and is officially led by four "pillars": its president, prime minister, the chief of its Communist Party and the national assembly chair.
Quang, 61, a former minister of public security, was elected president in 2016.
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According to the Associated Press, Quang hadn't attended public events for nearly a month past year, raising concerns over his health.
He had a reputation as a tough leader who was influential within the inner circles of the country's communist party.
"He was the first Vietnam president to meet with us, speak at a U.S. -Vietnam business summit", said Adam Sitkoff, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hanoi.
His time in office was underpinned by a simmering conflict with Beijing over the South China Sea, a long-running dispute between the communist neighbours that escalated on several occasions during his presidency. It names the president and is the highest governing body in the country, being responsible for all the most important decisions.
As president, Quang also oversaw a crackdown on dissidents, with more than 40 jailed this year alone.
Quang is survived by his wife and two sons.