‘Missing’ Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang Sacked

In a rare political scandal engulfing a loyalist to President Xi Jinping during his third term, the state media CCTV informed that Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who had been missing from public view for almost a month, has actually been fired.

No reason has been given for Qin’s abrupt removal, who only took charge of the foreign ministry in December, fueling speculation about his future while his predecessor, Wang Yi, has been reappointed as the new foreign minister.

After his swift promotion last year when Xi was forming a new team, Qin has started building a working relationship with his Western counterparts, including the US State Secretary Antony Blinken, Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra, and with her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock, who have met with him in Beijing following the city’s reopening after the COVID pandemic.

While crucial in external engagement, the post of foreign minister is not the most important role in the Chinese diplomatic system.

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