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China: Foreign Minister Qin Gang relieved of his duties, replaced by predecessor

FILE - Chinese Communist Party's foreign policy chief Wang Yi, center, waits for the start of trilateral meeting in Indonesia

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who has not been seen in public for around a month, has been relieved of his duties, Chinese state media reported on Tuesday.

Qin Gang, who has held the post since December 2022, has been replaced by his predecessor Wang Yi, the official China News Agency reported.

No reason was given by the agency.

In office since the end of December 2022, Mr Qin has not been seen since 25 June after a meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart in Beijing.

Since then, he missed several diplomatic events, including a major meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Indonesia in early July.

His absence generated numerous rumours on social networks about his whereabouts, which fueled increased pressure on authorities to provide an answer. 

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs justified Qin Gang's absence on the grounds of "health reasons", but that was not enough to quash online speculation.

Since the beginning of Qin Gang's absence, his predecessor Wang Yi was already fulfilling some of the duties of the now ex-minister.

Posted on 25 Jul 2023 16:33 link