Chinese Foreign Minister not missing, only manoeuvred to be sacked

Wang Yi(R) retakes his previous post as the Chinese Foreign Minister from Qin Gang(L)

By: Tsering Choephel

DHARAMSALA, 26 July: Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, whose absence from public view for weeks, fuelling many speculations recently, is sacked yesterday, raising more questions than it answers.

China’s state-run broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV) announced the removal of Qin Gang and the appointment of his predecessor Wang Yi as the Chinese Foreign Minister adding “President Xi Jinping signed a presidential order to effectuate the decision.”

Just over a month ago, Qin Gang received the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China during their mission to reboot the strained US-China relationship. 

Shortly after, Qin Gang disappeared from public view for days, raising many questions about the transparency of the Chinese Communist Party. Some online speculations report the entanglement of extramarital affairs in the equation.  

His absence from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Jakarta Indonesia held over 11-12 July was simply answered as ‘health reason’ by the Chinese foreign ministry, without giving further details. 

The sudden rise and fall of Gang raises questions about CCP. In particular, about Xi’s judgement, according to a report in the Economic Times. 

Gang has previously served as Chinese Ambassador to the US for two years before was promoted to the post of Foreign Minister last year by Xi Jinping as part of personnel reforms designed to install a team of loyalists, says the report. 

The absence of Beijing’s official reason for the sudden removal of its Foreign Minster highlights the secretive nature of the CCP’s inner workings and Xi’s decision-making.

Wang Yi retakes his previous post as Foreign Minister. Wang was promoted last year to the politburo of the CCP, making him the next most powerful man after Xi, who rules at the helm of China.

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