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China replaced foreign minister Qin Gang with Wang Yi

State media made the announcement one month after Qin Gang's last appearance in public, with Wang Yi taking his position.

Beijing, 25 July, 2023 (GNP): In a significant development, the Chinese government has announced the removal of Qin Gang from his position as foreign minister and appointed his predecessor, Wang Yi, to the role, according to state media reports.

The decision was made during a session of China’s top legislature, the National People’s Congress, on Tuesday.

Qin Gang, aged 57, had been serving as foreign minister since December, but his sudden disappearance from the public eye since June 25 has sparked speculation about the reasons behind his removal.

State broadcaster did not provide any explanation for Qin’s removal during the national evening news.

Notably, his removal was approved during a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, which typically gathers at the end of the month, adding to the intrigue surrounding the situation.

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Qin Gang’s last public appearance was during talks with counterparts from Russia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. Since then, he had missed several high-level meetings, including discussions with the US Treasury Secretary and the US climate envoy, as well as an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Jakarta, China’s foreign ministry said.

Qin’s rise within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was noteworthy, as he was regarded as a close confidant of Chinese President Xi Jinping. His appointment as foreign minister was seen as a testament to the trust placed in him by President Xi directly.

As a fluent English speaker, Qin was known for his public appearances and media engagements in Washington, where he defended China’s geopolitical position.

He gained a reputation for his caustic responses to challenging questions from journalists while serving as a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry.

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In recent years, Qin was seen as a prominent representative of China’s assertive “wolf warrior” diplomacy, exemplifying Beijing’s more aggressive approach on the global stage.

The circumstances surrounding Qin Gang’s removal from office remain unclear, and his absence from public engagements has fueled speculation about his standing within the CCP leadership.

As the leadership change takes effect, Wang Yi, Qin Gang’s predecessor, will resume the position of foreign minister.