• Wed. Feb 21st, 2024
China’s ‘missing’ foreign minister: Who is Qin Gang and what is known about his recent absence from public life

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has not been seen in public for nearly a month due to health reasons. A July 21 Bloomberg UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverley has reportedly postponed a trip to Beijing planned for late July, according to people familiar with the matter.

“Quinn’s situation was the main reason the secretary of state put his travel on hold, two people said, and a third said it was among several factors,” the report said. The two countries are reviewing alternative dates, the report added.

Quinn’s high profile and absence from recent international summits and meetings has fueled speculation that the government could have forced his removal.

Such speculations are the result of many factors, firstly the Chinese government also does not provide details regarding its operation. There is also a history of Well-known personalities of the country disappear from public view For several days, in what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sees as unsanctioned actions. Businessman Jack Ma, tennis star Peng Shuai, and actress Fan Bingbing are some famous examples. After some time, the three appeared in public again. Chinese President Xi Jinping also sparked similar speculation in 2012 and beyond Covid 19 Epidemic

Who is Qin Gang?

Born in 1966, Qin has risen through the ranks since joining the Beijing Service Bureau for Diplomatic Missions in 1988 as a staff member. Working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he has held positions at the Chinese Embassy in Britain. He was also appointed Foreign Ministry Spokesperson for two terms for several years. Some say his closeness to President Xi contributed to his rapid rise to high office.

In 2021, he was appointed Ambassador to the United States for a relatively short period, and in December 2022 was promoted to Minister of Foreign Affairs.

What could be behind Qin Gang’s disappearance?

He has not been seen in public since meeting officials from Sri Lanka, Russia and Vietnam on June 25. In its report, Bloomberg Both Xi, China’s top diplomat, and Qin’s predecessor, Wang Yi, pointed out how Qing had missed key international meetings this month, such as when he met with former Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing. A day later, Wang received US climate representative John Kerry, who also attended a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) instead of Quinn in Indonesia last week.

In early July, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin blamed “physical conditions” for Qin’s absence from the ASEAN event.

Many Western media have raised questions about whether Qin will be seen in public when the G20 summit is held in New York this year. Delhi In September. They added that Quinn is likely to have health issues and is likely to resurface soon.

BBC In the past few days, Baidu, China’s largest search engine, reported seeing a “sharp surge” in searches for Qin’s name. “According to the Baidu index, searches for “Qin Gang” increased by more than 5,000% in one week, and his name is searched for more than some of the most popular Chinese celebrities,” it said.

One of the most widely shared theories online said that Qin was investigating an extramarital affair, and when asked about the rumor on Monday, Foreign Minister Mao Ning said he was not aware of it.

What other Chinese public figures have disappeared before?

Current President Xi has also been subject to such speculation. This first happened in 2012, when he was elected to succeed CCP chief and later Chinese President Hu Jintao. Xi also missed meetings with Singapore’s then Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and later with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. stop Corona Virus Pandemic in 2020, reports often claimed him as ‘missing’.

A few other cases point to the disappearance of high-ranking individuals, followed by their return, and they become even lower-ranked.

In 2018, actress Fan Bingbing – has also made guest appearances in Hollywood movies. Iron Man 3 And X-Men: Days of Future Past – disappeared from public view. Previously active on social media, she returned in April 2019 after being investigated by the government for alleged tax evasion.

In a post on social media app Weibo, she wrote, “Recently, I experienced unprecedented pain and agony… and I underwent deep thought and reflection. I feel ashamed and guilty for what I have done and I sincerely apologize to you all! This was after China’s tax authorities ordered her to pay nearly $129 million in overdue taxes and penalties. South China Morning Post Report.

The star was released from “residential surveillance at a designated location” – a form of secret detention – about two weeks ago and returned to Beijing as tax authorities completed their investigation”, SCMP added At that time, she was the second richest actor after Jackie Chan.

“One can say that every bit of my achievement cannot be separated from the support of the state and the people. Without the good policies of the Communist Party and the state, and without the love and care of the people, there will be no fan bingbing,” she wrote.

Jack Ma, the owner of e-commerce giant Alibaba, who was described as ‘Asia’s richest man’ a few years ago, also went missing in November 2020 and his fortune has since declined significantly.

In October of that year, Ma gave a speech in Shanghai to employees of his financial services firm Ant Group, which was preparing to launch the world’s largest company. Initial Public Offering In stock exchange. His speech criticized the Chinese financial system as outdated, and he was only seen in January of the following year. Since then, he has kept a low profile and now teaches at a university in Tokyo.

Similarly, in a now-deleted post on Weibo in November 2021, Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai described being forced to have sex with Zhang Gaoli, a former vice premier and member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

The post read like a letter to Zhang questioning Zhang’s actions at a home where he met Peng with his wife. According to the translation of the reported post Associated PressShe wrote, “That afternoon, I was so scared, I didn’t think it would be like this, someone was watching outside”.

The post was soon deleted, and Peng disappeared from public view for a while. Players like Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic expressed concern about her at the time, and the Women’s Tennis Association, or WTA, suspended matches in China for a while. Then she was spotted at a tournament and started posting on social media again.

She returned to the public eye a few months later, and later scheduled an interview with a French media outlet set up. She said the incident was a misunderstanding, “Sexual assault? I have never said that anyone sexually assaulted me… This post caused a lot of misunderstanding from the outside world. When asked why she deleted the post, she said, “Because I wanted to.”

Artist Ai Weiwei, who contributed to the design of the stadium at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, spent 81 days in secret detention in 2011 for criticizing the Chinese government. “Since 2008, China’s government has tightened its control and the human rights situation has worsened,” Ai said. Associated Press In 2022.

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