Thursday, April 18, 2024
Xi Jinping's foreign minister disappears for a month.

Xi Jinping’s foreign minister disappears for a month.

China’s Foreign Minister Ousted in Surprising Shake-Up of Leadership

China’s foreign minister Qin Gang was dramatically ousted on Tuesday after a prolonged absence from public view and replaced by his predecessor in a surprising and highly unusual shake-up of the country’s foreign policy leadership.

Mystery Surrounds Qin Gang’s Fate

The sudden move, approved by the top decision-making body of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, comes as mystery has swirled around the fate of Qin, who has not been seen in public for a month.

A Trusted Aide of Chinese Leader Xi Jinping

Qin, 57, a career diplomat and trusted aide of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, had only been appointed foreign minister in December after serving as China’s ambassador to Washington.

No Reason Given for Qin’s Departure

No reason has yet been given for Qin’s departure but his predecessor Wang Yi will now step back into the role, authorities confirmed.

Wang Yi, China’s Top Diplomat

Wang, who was foreign minister from 2013 to 2022, now serves as director of the foreign affairs arm of the ruling Communist Party, a position which makes him China’s top diplomat.

Unusual Appointment During China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee Meeting

The appointment of a foreign minister occurred during a meeting of the China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was abruptly announced on Monday in a deviation from past precedent.

Diplomatic Challenges for China

The sudden move comes in the middle of a busy and important diplomatic period for China following its emergence from its pandemic isolation earlier this year and as Beijing tries to mend strained relationships with international partners.

Mysterious Disappearance of Qin from Affair Schedule

The high-profile diplomat has not been seen in public since June 25, after he met with officials from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Russia in Beijing.

Disruptions and Wang Yi’s Temporary Duties

In his last public appearance, a smiling Qin was seen walking side by side with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko, who flew to Beijing to meet with Chinese officials after a short-lived insurrection by the Wagner mercenary group in Russia.

Intrigue and Close Ties to Xi Jinping

Qin’s disappearance from China’s foreign affairs schedule has not been fully explained by the ministry, which briefly cited “health reasons” when he missed a diplomatic gathering earlier this month. It also caused apparent disruptions with Wang Yi already having to step back into the role to attend an annual foreign ministers’ meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Indonesia earlier this month.

Possible Political Instability

“Qin Gang was single-handedly pulled up the ranks by Xi. Any problems with him will reflect badly on Xi too – implying that Xi failed to choose the right person for the job,” said Deng Yuwen, a former editor of a Communist Party newspaper who now lives in the US, told CNN earlier this month. “If anything unusual happened to a senior official, people will wonder if their relations with the top leader have soured or whether it is a sign of political instability,” said Deng.

Disappearance of Chinese Officials and Xi’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

Senior Chinese officials have disappeared from public view in the past, only to be revealed months later by the ruling Communist Party’s disciplinary watchdog that they’ve been detained for investigations. Such sudden disappearances have become a common feature in Xi’s anti-corruption campaign.

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About Nick Dunn

Meet Nick Dunn, an exceptional author on our blog with a focus on news and politics. With an expertise in covering current affairs, international news, opinion and analysis, as well as politics and government, Nick delivers insightful and thought-provoking posts that are both informative and engaging. With his in-depth knowledge and sharp analysis, he keeps you informed and up-to-date on the latest news and developments around the world!

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