Qin Gang has disappeared from the public eye, and was last seen in Beijing on June 24, 2023.
Recently, social media has been stirred up by the news that the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qin Gang, has disappeared from the public. Qin has never been seen in public again after appearing to meet the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka in Beijing on 24 June 2023. He also did not attend the 56th meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers (AMM) in Jakarta on 10-14 July 2023.
Qin Gang’s position was replaced by Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi. Wang Yi was the foreign minister before China for the 2013-2022 period. This means that it was almost before the Chinese foreign minister disappeared from the media’s watch.
“Qin’s disappearance created a lot of uncertainty and confusion over the consistency, stability and credibility of Beijing’s decision-making,” said Yun Sun, China Program Director at the Stimson Center, reported by Reuters , quoted Friday (21/7/2023).
“If a national vice-level leader could just disappear without much explanation, people would find it difficult to trust and rely on any Chinese leader or official and their position,” Yun Sun added.
When asked about Qin Gang’s status when he returned to duty, Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning only answered briefly. “I have no information for your question.”
The Chinese government said that Wang Yi, as Qin’s predecessor who was sent to Jakarta, would also represent his country at the BRICS meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 24-25.
Qin is considered a rising star on China’s political horizon. The former aide to President Xi Jinping was appointed foreign minister in December 2022, after less than two years as PRC ambassador to the United States (US).
Since assuming the post of secretary of state, he has played a key role in navigating difficult US-China relations, meeting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing last June. It was the US secretary of state’s first visit to China in the last five years.
Meanwhile, searches for the name ‘Qin Gang’ on the Baidu search engine have increased 28-fold in the past week to more than 380k per day, according to platform data. Qin’s absence has also been widely discussed in the diplomatic community, with some saying it is yet another example of the Chinese government’s lack of transparency.
Initially, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Qin’s absence at various events was due to “health reasons”. However, that explanation was eventually dropped from the official statement. Al Jazeera reported that the lack of transparency had sparked a series of speculations both inside and outside China, including unsubstantiated rumors that Qin was no longer in favor with President Xi.
As for social media, especially Twitter , Qin was reportedly removed from the position of foreign minister because he had an affair with a reporter Fu Xiaotian. It’s just that this news has not been confirmed and has been widely discussed by netizens after the second video when the interview was widely circulated.
Source : Republika