Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang removed from office

11 months ago 10


Announcement by state media comes a month after his last public appearance.

Published On 25 Jul 2023

The Chinese government has removed Qin Gang from the post of foreign minister and replaced him with his predecessor Wang Yi, according to state media.

“China’s top legislature voted to appoint Wang Yi as foreign minister … as it convened a session on Tuesday,” the Xinhua news agency reported. “Qin Gang was removed from the post of foreign minister.”

The announcement came a month after Qin’s last public appearance.

Qin, who was made foreign minister in December, has not since been seen in public June 25, when he held talks with counterparts from Russia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

Qin’s final appearance in state media was a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko, who visited Beijing less than 48 hours after the Wagner mercenary group’s abortive rebellion against Moscow.

China then cancelled talks between Qin and European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on July 4 without explanation.

Qin subsequently missed high-level meetings with United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and US climate envoy John Kerry.

China’s foreign ministry later claimed Qin could not attend an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Jakarta for “health reasons”.

His mysterious absence has fuelled speculation that Qin has fallen out of favour with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership.

The 57-year-old Tianjin native has served in the Chinese government since the late 1980s, mostly in roles related to foreign affairs.

Qin was regarded as a close confidant of Chinese President Xi Jinping and viewed as a rising star within the CCP.

In recent years, he was seen as exemplifying Beijing’s turn towards aggressive so-called “wolf warrior” diplomacy.

A growing list of high-profile figures in China have gone missing for prolonged periods without explanation in recent years.

This is a developing story. More to follow.



Al Jazeera and news agencies

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