Qin Gang Missing: In the past as well, senior Chinese officials have disappeared from public view.
China’s foreign minister Qin Gang has been absent from public view for an unusual period of time. He has not been seen for the past three weeks leading to speculation around his absence. A seasoned diplomat and a trusted aid of China’s president Xi Jinping, Qin Gang took the tole of the country’s in December after a short tenure as ambassador to the United States.
In his role, Qin Gang has slammed the US as bilateral relations between Washington and Beijing reached a new low following the citing and eventual downing incident of a suspected Chinese spy balloon. Aiming to restore relations, he also participated in a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Beijing last month.
What has Beijing said about Qin Gang?
Beijing has cited “health reasons” for Qin Gang’s absence. In the past as well, senior Chinese officials have disappeared from public view. Such sudden disappearances have become a common as Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign in his party is underway.
When was Qin Gang last seen?
Qin Gang, 57, has not been seen since June 25. His last engagement was a multilateral meeting with officials from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Russia in Beijing after the uprising by Wagner mercenary group against Vladimir Putin. He has also not been seen during high-profile visits by senior US officials Janet Yellen and John Kerry.
Earlier this month, Qin Gang was scheduled to meet European Union foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell in Beijing. But, the meeting was postponed after China informed the European Union that the originally planned dates were no longer feasible- just two days before Joseph Borrell’s arrival in the country.
Qin Gang did not attend the annual foreign ministers’ meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta last week as well where China was represented by top diplomat Wang Yi.