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Chinese ambassador found dead in home near Tel Aviv

By
Allen Cone
Ambassador Du Wei appears appears at the Chinese embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on August 30, 2019. In February, he became China's Ambassador to Israel and he was found dead in a suburb of Tel Aviv on Sunday morning. Photo by Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA-EFE
Ambassador Du Wei appears appears at the Chinese embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on August 30, 2019. In February, he became China's Ambassador to Israel and he was found dead in a suburb of Tel Aviv on Sunday morning. Photo by Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA-EFE

May 17 (UPI) -- China's ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, was found dead at his official residence Sunday morning in the coastal town of Herzliya near Tel Aiv apparently of natural causes, according to the Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A spokesperson for the agency told CNN that the 57-year-old's death is not being treated as suspicious.

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Aides found him in his bed and not breathing, when they tried to wake him in his apartment, the Ynet news site reported.

His death was confirmed by the envoy's deputy, Dai Yuming, in a news briefing.

Family members were not in Israel with Du, who was married and had a son, the foreign ministry said.

Du, who was born in Shandong Province, had served as a diplomat in Ukraine, and arrived in Israel on Feb. 15 but first spent two weeks in quarantine because of the coronavirus restrictions.

On Friday, he had condemned comments by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who had visited Israel. Pompeo had accused China of hiding information about the coronavirus outbreak and denounced Chinese investments in Israel.

The Chinese Embassy said the accusations were "absurd."

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"Jewish friends know... well pandemic is accompanied by conspiracies and the dark mentality of seeking scapegoats," the embassy said.

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