Rumors, Speculation Rife as Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang Vanishes From Public View


Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang has disappeared from public view for more than three weeks, sparking intense speculation and media attention.

Mr. Qin’s last public appearance was on June 25 in Beijing, when he met with the foreign ministers of Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Russia.

Since then, Mr. Qin, 57, has been absent from a series of important diplomatic activities.

Mr. Qin was also absent from the virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the meeting between Premier Minister Li Qiang and U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen.

The East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum were held on July 14, and the foreign ministers of ASEAN and China were scheduled to meet on July 13. On July 11, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Mr. Qin could not attend the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting due to health reasons, and Wang Yi, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), would attend instead.

‘Caught COVID-19’

Sing Tao Daily, a pro-China newspaper based in Hong Kong, reported on July 10 that Mr. Qin’s absence from the public view was because he has been infected with COVID-19 and is resting for half a month, and it’s believed that he would reappear in public soon.

The cases of COVID-19 infections in mainland China have been resurging for months. The real data on the infections are difficult to obtain, as CCP has been concealing the true scale of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country since 2020.

Extramarital Affair Rumors

Posts have flooded Chinese and overseas social media with rumors that Mr. Qin’s disappearance was caused by the exposure of his extramarital affair with Fu Xiaotian, the former TV show host of Phoenix TV, a CCP media registered in Hong Kong.

Many posts said that Ms. Fu was suspected of being a double agent, having close relationships with several CCP high-ranking officials, and recently gave birth to an illegitimate child.

Ms. Fu’s social media posts of her child, whose last name was Qin, and her luxurious residence in Los Angeles have been re-posted by many netizens.

At a routine press conference for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 17, a foreign reporter asked about claims that Mr.Qin had disappeared and the rumors that he was being investigated for having an extramarital affair with Ms. Fu.

Mao Ning, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, replied, “I am not aware of the situation you mentioned.”

When another reporter asked when Mr. Qin would return to work, Ms. Mao said she had no information to provide.

Political Struggle

On July 17, Yuan Hongbing, a law scholar based in Australia, told The Epoch Times that Mr. Qin’s affair with Ms. Fu may be true, but this is not the main issue of his disappearance.

“If Qin Gang has no political trouble, it [the affair]will not matter since many high-rank CCP officials have those.

“But if Qin Gang is in political trouble, that is, if he has connections with high-ranking military officials who have been recently taken down, Xi Jinping won’t tolerate it. The affair then will be used as one of the pieces of evidence against him.”

Many social media posts also suggest that Mr. Qin’s disappearance was related to high-ranking officials from the PLA Rocket Force being taken down. It’s said that during Mr. Qin’s tenure as China’s ambassador to the United States, he failed to prevent the son of the Rocket Force’s commander Li Yuchao who was studying in the United States, from leaking state secrets. The father and son were suspected of selling the CCP’s military intelligence.

Yao Cheng, the former lieutenant colonel of the PLA Navy Command, said in a Twitter post on June 28 that national security agents took Rocket Force’s commander Li away from his office on June 26, the day that Mr. Qin disappeared.

Meanwhile, it was reported in the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times that several other high-ranking officials of the PLA’s Rocket Force were also arrested that day.

Mr. Yuan said he learned about Mr. Qin’s disappearance from his contacts.

“It’s mainly because Qin Gang and Wang Yi were at odds, fighting each other and fighting for power,” he said.

At the end of December 2022, Mr. Qin, who was the Chinese ambassador to the United States, was promoted to foreign minister, replacing Mr. Wang. On March 12, Mr. Qin was made a State Councilor. At 57, he became the youngest “deputy state leader” of the CCP.

Mr. Yuan said Mr. Wang is very domineering and Mr. Qin is very aggressive, so the two can’t cooperate.

“If something has happened to Mr. Qin this time,” Mr. Yuan said, “it means that there is a major problem in the operation of the entire CCP’s diplomatic system.

“However, the CCP’s diplomatic wolf-warrior style and principles are determined by Xi Jinping, so the power struggle between Qin Gang and Wang Yi will not involve an overall change in the CCP’s foreign policy.

“If something goes wrong with Qin Gang, it will though lead to some large-scale personnel reshuffle in the diplomatic service circle.”