China's last feudal vassal king dies at 88

China's last feudal vassal king dies at 88
An officer of a Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) honour guard uses a string to ensure members of the honour guard are standing in a straight line.

Dawut Mehsut, China's last feudal vassal king, died of illness on Wednesday afternoon at the age of 88 in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. He died at his residence in Kuqa King's Palace, which was opened to the public in 2006.

One day before his death, Dawut asked his son, Parhat Dawut, to send a truck of watermelons to military soldiers to celebrate National Army Day, local media reported.

Dawut was known as a patriot and contributed to national solidarity, social stability and economic development.

At the age of 2, Dawut was adopted by his uncle, then the 11th king of Kuqa. Twelve years later, he ascended the throne as the 12th vassal king in 1941.

In 1946, he began living on a farm with his family. He later served as bank president and translator and was appointed as vice-chairman of the Kuqa committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in 1984.

He was also the oldest civil servant in China before he died.

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