Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang Removed from Office Amid Mysterious Disappearance
China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang has been removed from office and replaced by Wang Yi, the former foreign minister, according to an announcement made by China's top legislative body, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC). The suddenness of the special meeting with only one day's notice has fueled speculations about Qin's month-long mysterious absence from public view.
Qin, who had been considered a close aide of President Xi Jinping, was last seen in public on June 25 when he met with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry in Beijing. Chinese officials initially cited health reasons for his absence, but no follow-up statements or explanations have been provided by the Foreign Ministry since then. Notably, Qin's absence details were conspicuously missing from the official transcript of a daily briefing.
The reasons for Qin's removal have not been disclosed by the authorities, leaving room for widespread speculation. His meteoric rise in the Chinese Communist Party, despite being a relatively young foreign minister, and his self-styled "wolf warrior" diplomacy had garnered attention.
Qin's tenure as China's foreign minister has now become the shortest on record, and while he remains on the State Council, his specific role in China's foreign policy going forward remains uncertain.
Observers have raised doubts about the health reasons given for Qin's absence, as such explanations have been used in the past to mask political developments and falling out of favor with the leadership.
Several theories surrounding Qin's disappearance include power struggles within the leadership and alleged affairs with individuals, such as a well-known TV anchor. The appointment of Wang Yi as foreign minister is seen by some as a temporary arrangement to prevent further embarrassment for President Xi Jinping, and it is expected that a permanent replacement may be announced in the future.
The lack of transparency and unpredictability surrounding Qin's removal highlight the opaqueness of China's political system, leaving many questions unanswered. The irregular scheduling of the NPCSC meeting further adds to the mystery surrounding the situation.
Despite Qin's removal from the foreign minister post, his retention on the State Council indicates that he may still have some political protection, although his professional prospects seem uncertain.
As speculations and rumors continue to swirl, the international community awaits further developments and clarifications from the Chinese authorities regarding Qin Gang's sudden disappearance and removal from office.