Mysterious 'Departure' Of China's Foreign Minister Raises Eyebrows Amid Political Turmoil

By Greg Moriarty | Wednesday, 28 February 2024 05:15 AM
Views 3K

In a recent development, Qin Gang, China's erstwhile foreign minister, has stepped down from his position in the national legislature, as reported by state media on Tuesday.

Qin's abrupt dismissal from his ministerial role in July last year marked one of the most unexpected political events in China in recent times.

Qin, 57, was in office for a mere seven months before he vanished from the public eye in June. The government subsequently announced his dismissal a month later, but he has not made any public appearances since then. Qin's role as foreign minister was taken over by his predecessor, Wang Yi.

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee issued a notice stating that the Tianjin Municipal People’s Congress had accepted Qin's resignation as a delegate to the forthcoming annual parliamentary session. Although official websites no longer mention Qin as a member of the State Council, China's Cabinet, there has been no disclosure regarding his status within China's ruling Communist Party.

 WATCH: IS "DEATH TO AMERICA" RACIST?bell_image

Qin's disappearance coincided with a series of high-profile dismissals within the party, including former Defense Minister Li Shangfu and other senior military officials. Such overt signs of political discord are exceedingly rare in China, particularly under President Xi Jinping's regime, which has tightened its grip on the country's politics, in part through an extensive anti-corruption campaign that has seen many of his perceived adversaries purged.

 WATCH: THE WRITING WAS ON THE WALLbell_image

The dismissals of Qin and Li are thought to be part of a wider initiative to mitigate security risks amidst escalating competition with the United States and its allies.

 WATCH: SAM BANKMAN-FRIED APPEALS FRAUD CONVICTION, BUT WILL HE DODGE THE SLAMMER?!bell_image

The National People's Congress, China's nominal parliament, is set to hold its annual session in early March, with a primary focus on the country’s struggling economy. Despite a growth of 5.2% last year, China's economy is predicted to experience a significant slowdown this year, burdened by a property crisis, high youth unemployment, and substantial local government debt.

 MONSTER HUNTERS: LOCH NESS CENTRE TEAMS UP WITH NASA FOR BIGGEST EXPLORATION EVER...bell_image

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with a briefing, reported in September that Qin was removed due to an extramarital affair during his tenure as ambassador to the U.S. An investigation was launched to determine if his conduct had jeopardized China’s national security, as per the Journal's report.

X