Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who has not appeared publicly for a month, has been removed from office. As the state broadcaster CCTV reported, the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress voted in favor of it at a meeting on Tuesday. His predecessor Wang Yi is to take over the post again. At first there was no justification for the step.
In recent weeks there has been wild speculation about the fate of the Qing Gang. The 57-year-old had his last public appointment in Beijing on June 25. He hasn’t been seen since then. China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, who is above Qin Gang in the hierarchy, had deputized for the foreign minister on several occasions.
Also Read: The Mysterious Disappearance of China’s Foreign Minister
Initially, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said when asked that Qin Gang was unable to attend for health reasons. However, there was also speculation about a possible extramarital affair. When asked about this, a State Department spokeswoman said she had “no information” about it.
High officials and celebrities keep disappearing in China
Disappearances of senior officials, celebrities and businessmen are a common occurrence in China. It often turns out later that they were involved in investigations or other controversies.
One of the most well-known cases in recent years is the former Chinese Interpol chief Meng Hongwei, who disappeared on a trip to China in 2018. Two years later, a Chinese court sentenced him to a long prison term for accepting bribes.
Qin Gang was only appointed foreign minister in March after a meteoric rise under state and party leader Xi Jinping.