07/18/2023, 16.51
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Chinese Foreign Minister missing for three weeks

Qin Gang has not been seen in public after 25 June. Since then, the Communist Party’s foreign affairs boss Wang Yi has replaced Qin at official events. So far, Chinese officials have shied away from talking about the minister’s fate, but the rumour mill suggests that he is under investigation for private indiscretions.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Chinese Foreign Minister Qing Gang has not been seen in public since 25 June when he met with his counterparts from Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

When he was a no-show at the ASEAN summit last week in Jakarta (Indonesia), foreign ministry sources cited “physical reasons” but that explanation was missing from the official transcript of the press conference.

For the past few weeks, Wang Yi, director of the Central Committee’s Foreign Affairs Commission, has replaced the minister at official engagements. Within the Communist Party of China, Wang is the real boss in foreign affairs.

As time goes by, Chinese officials have been vaguer and vaguer about Qing Gang’s fate, raising suspicions about what might have befallen the 57-year-old former ambassador to Washington, who was appointed foreign minister only last 30 December.

Until recently, he was seen as one of China’s "wolf warriors", the aggressive diplomats who vigorously counter any criticism of China’s coercive diplomacy.

According to the London-based Times, Qin Gang’s private life might explain his disappearance.

The British newspaper is alleging that the foreign minister might be under investigation for an affair he had with a female journalist working for Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV when he served as ambassador in Washington.

Asked about the rumours, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said that she had “no information to provide”.

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