For nearly a month now, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, just replaced , , has remained out of the public eye for a month The absence of Minister Qin has caused some rescheduling in diplomatic engagements. . Though former foreign minister Wang Yi n has been appointed as the new foreign minister on Tuesday, the continued absence of Qin Gang for such a long period has led to speculations.
UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly was set to visit Beijing at the end of July but has decided to postpone the trip. Sources familiar with the matter revealed that Qin’s health situation was the primary reason for the postponement, although other factors were also taken into consideration. Both nations are now working to review and agree upon alternative dates for the visit.
Speculation surrounding the absence of Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has been fuelled by various factors, including his high profile and recent non-appearance at international summits and meetings. One significant factor contributing to these speculations is China’s lack of transparent disclosure regarding government affairs and functioning. The government’s tendency to withhold details adds to the uncertainty surrounding Qin’s situation.
Moreover, China has a history of prominent figures disappearing from the public eye for extended periods, often linked to actions that are perceived as disapproved of by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Notable examples include industrialist Jack Ma, tennis player PengShuai, and actress Fan Bingbing, who eventually re-emerged after some time. These instances have created a pattern, further fueling speculation about Qin Gang’s sudden absence.
Even high-ranking officials have not been immune to such speculations. Chinese President Xi Jinping himself experienced similar scrutiny during 2012 and the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting how this has become a recurring theme in Chinese politics.
However, it’s crucial to note that these speculations remain unconfirmed, and there could be various other reasons for Qin Gang’s absence, including genuine health issues. The lack of transparency in China’s governance system often leads to widespread conjecture in such situations. Until official information is released, the reasons behind Qin’s absence remain speculative.
Qin Gang, born in 1966, has had a notable career trajectory within the Chinese government. He began his journey in 1988 when he was appointed as a staff member at the Beijing Service Bureau for Diplomatic Missions. Over the years, he steadily climbed the ranks within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gaining valuable experience and expertise.
Throughout his career, Qin has held various important positions, including serving at the Chinese Embassy in Britain, where he gained exposure to international relations and diplomacy. Additionally, he served as a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a role he held for multiple terms, showcasing his communication skills and representing China on the global stage.
Some observers have noted that Qin’s rapid rise to senior positions may be partly attributed to his proximity to Chinese President Xi Jinping. This connection could have played a role in his advancement within the government.
In 2021, Qin Gang assumed the position of Ambassador to the United States, representing China’s interests in a crucial bilateral relationship. However, his tenure in this role was relatively short-lived, as he was promoted to the post of Minister for Foreign Affairs in December 2022. This appointment marked a significant milestone in his career, putting him at the forefront of China’s foreign policy and international engagements.
As of June 25, Qin Gang has not made any public appearances since he met with officials from Sri Lanka, Russia, and Vietnam. This prolonged absence has raised concerns as he has been notably absent from several major international meetings this month. For instance, he was not present when Chinese President Xi Jinping and his predecessor, Wang Yi, China’s former top diplomat, met with former Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing. Similarly, on a separate occasion, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry was received by Wang Yi instead of Qin Gang. Additionally, Wang Yi represented China at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Indonesia, further highlighting Qin’s absence from major diplomatic events.
Bloomberg reported on the significance of Qin’s absence from these crucial international gatherings, which has contributed to speculations and raised questions about his current status and the reasons behind his extended period of non-appearance. The lack of public engagement by a high-profile figure like the Chinese Foreign Minister has undoubtedly drawn attention and speculation.
Other than Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, another prominent figure who had disappeared from the public eye was Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba and one of China’s most high-profile billionaires. His disappearance occurred during a government crackdown on the tech industry, leading to widespread speculation and concern about his well-being and the circumstances surrounding his absence.
Fortunately, there was some resolution to the mystery as the South China Morning Post reported that Jack Ma returned to China after spending more than a year overseas. (IPA Service)