China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang, known for his close ties to President Xi Jinping, has not been seen in public for three weeks, sparking widespread speculation. His absence has been conspicuous, particularly during a period of intensive diplomatic activity in Beijing.
- Qin Gang has not appeared in public since June 25, when he met with officials from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Russia in Beijing. His prolonged absence has led to questions about his whereabouts and health.
- Qin Gang’s role as Foreign Minister is significant due to the recent strained relations between China and the United States. His disappearance coincides with the visit of senior US officials to Beijing, adding to the mystery.
- He was also absent from the annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Indonesia, which he was supposed to attend. Instead, top diplomat Wang Yi attended the gathering in his place.
- Chinese Foreign Ministry briefly cited “health reasons” for Qin’s absence from the ASEAN meeting, but the comment was later removed from the official transcript.
- The disappearance of Qin Gang has fueled speculation due to the lack of transparency in the Chinese political system, and the close ties Qin holds with President Xi Jinping.