Chinese pair with combined age of 217 are 'the oldest couple in the world'

Ping Muhu aged 109 celebrates his birthday with his wife Zhang Xinniu, 108. (CEN)

A Chinese pair with a combined age of 217 are thought to be the oldest living couple in the world.

Ping Muhu, who turned 109 this week, celebrated his birthday with wife Zhang Zinniu at his side, who is 108.

When Ping was born at the start of the 20th century, Theodore Roosevelt was U.S. President and King
Edward VII had only just recognised the office of UK Prime Minister.

The couple have over 60 children, grandchildren children and great-grandchildren spread around the country, and their oldest son Ping Changsong is 74.

They married in 1927, meaning the incredible pair have been together for a staggering 87 years.

According to China's Gerontological Society the couple with a combined age of 217 are officially the oldest in the world.

They live together in the city of Yuzhou in central China’s Henan Province.

On being told of their achievement Ping, who of late has been suffering from ill health, said: 'I am just happy that I have somebody to look after me in my old age and that my wife is still going strong.'

The couple are regularly visited by their family and Ping added: 'It is a bit hard to keep track of them all especially with my sight not being what it was, but I have to say we certainly don't suffer from a lack of affection. There always seems to be somebody visiting.'

The couple’s children said that the secret to the couple's longevity is a simple lifestyle and, most importantly, a simple diet.

Ping Muhu and wife Zhang Xinniu have over 60 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. (CEN)
Ping Muhu and Zhang Xinniu credit their amazing combined innings to 'a simple lifestyle and diet'. (CEN)