The Chinese regime announced the replacement of its foreign minister who has been missing for a month

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang (Reuters) (Thomas Peter /)

He chinese foreign minister, qin gangwho has been out of the public scene for a month, was dismissed this Tuesday and relieved by his predecessor in office, Wang Yi.

Qin has not appeared in public since June 25the day he met in the Chinese capital with officials from Sri Lanka, Russia and Vietnam, and, since then, he has been absent from various diplomatic events, arousing all kinds of speculation about his whereabouts and situation.

The Permanent Committee of the Popular National Assembly (ANP, Legislative) approved this Tuesday in an unusual meeting the dismissal of Qin and the return of Wang Yi as chancellor, collects the state agency xinhua in a brief statement.

The President and General Secretary of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping signed an order to make the decision effectiveadds the agency.

Qin’s dismissal comes after his vertiginous ascent last Decemberwhen his firm and aggressive tone was awarded the country’s chancellorship, kicking off months of frenetic activity with the opening of the country after the end of the “zero COVID” policy.

Qin then replaced Wang Yi with an international agenda marked by the War in Ukraine or the growing rivalry with Washington.

His last high-level public appearance took place last Junewhen he met in Beijing with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, at a time when both parties were trying to recover communication to avoid further conflicts.

Antony Blinken and Qin Gang, on June 18 (Reuters)
Antony Blinken and Qin Gang, on June 18 (Reuters) (LEAH MILLIS /)

Qin was scheduled to attend the last ASEAN summit in Indonesia, which, according to Beijing, He was absent “for health reasons”.

Nor did the US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, and the White House Special Envoy for Climate Change, John Kerry, who was received by Wang Yi, participate in the meetings in Beijing.

China has maintained a tight silence for weeks on the fate of Qin, who has not been seen in public since June 25. His absence unleashed a storm of speculation as to whether he had been ousted or was the subject of an official investigation.

At 69 years old, Wang returns to the position that he already held from 2013 until last December 31 after replacing Qin in several of the meetings that were held during the last month.

Wang Yi (Reuters)
Wang Yi (Reuters) (AJENG DINAR ULFIANA /)

Wang Yi is part of the Politburo (the leadership of the formation, made up of 24 people), and was promoted last October to head of the Office of the Party’s Foreign Affairs Commission, which made him the highest-ranking diplomat in China.

rise and fall

Originally from the northeastern city of Tianjin, Qin, 57, has spent his entire career in the Chinese diplomatic service. He is married with a son, according to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Fluent in English, he specialized in Western European affairs and was posted to the UK three times, most recently as a minister. During his stints as spokesman for the Foreign Office, he became famous for his sharp answers to difficult questions from journalists.

Magazine The Diploma He called him “one of the first celebrities of the Chinese Foreign Ministry” for his memorable lines, such as when he was asked his opinion on the album “Chinese Democracy” by American rock band Guns N’ Roses, and replied: “No. there are many people who like this type of music because it is too loud and loud. Also, you are a mature adult, aren’t you?”

But analysts say Qin’s real break came when it entered direct orbit of Xi as head of the foreign ministry’s protocol department from 2014 to 2018. That job involved organizing Xi’s overseas trips and accompanying the leader on them.

He was deputy foreign minister between 2018 and 2021, before becoming ambassador to the United States.

Qin’s rapid rise above more experienced candidates, first to ambassador to the US and then to No. 2 in Chinese diplomacy, was attributed to the trust placed in him directly by Xi. “There is no clearer choice of captain in the current leadership than that of Qin,” he declared to the Financial Times Neil Thomas of the US think tank Asia Society Policy Institute.

That makes his mysterious removal all the more surprising.

The last time Qin Gang was seen in public, on June 25, with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko in Beijing (via AP)
The last time Qin Gang was seen in public, on June 25, with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko in Beijing (via AP) (Uncredited/)

“If Qin is sacked, I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason given was related to health, regardless of what’s going on, since anything related to discipline would reflect badly on Xi and his decision to break protocol to promote Qin”analyst Bill Bishop wrote in his Sinocism newsletter before the announcement.

The change comes amid a barrage of international commitments and fraying ties with rival superpower the United States, which Beijing has described as at its lowest point since the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The world’s two largest economies are at odds over issues including Ukraine and Beijing’s close ties with Moscow, trade and technology disputes, and Taiwan, the self-governing democratic island that Beijing claims as Chinese territory.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

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