China’s Former Foreign Minister Removed Amid Affair Controversy
China’s former Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, has ousted from his position due to an investigation revealing an affair and the birth of a child while serving as the US ambassador, according to a report the Wall Street Journal.
Investigation into “Lifestyle Issues”
In August, top officials informed of a Communist Party inquiry into Qin’s “lifestyle issues,” a term commonly used in Chinese official language to imply sexual misconduct. Two sources disclosed that the affair resulted in the birth of a child in the US. The ongoing investigation, with Qin’s cooperation, now focused on whether the affair posed a national security risk.
China’s National Security Concerns
China engaged in an ideological rivalry with the United States, its primary economic and geopolitical rival, which prompted Beijing to bolster national security measures against foreign threats.
Foreign Ministry’s Response
The Foreign Ministry in Beijing has not yet responded to requests for comment regarding these developments.
Unexplained Removal in July
China removed Qin from his ministerial post in July, just seven months after he assumed the position, making it the shortest tenure in that role. No official explanation was provided for Qin’s removal, and his predecessor, Wang Yi, has reinstated.
Concerns Over Government Stability
This episode raises questions about President Xi Jinping’s decision-making and the stability of the government leading the world’s second-largest economy. Concerns further fueled by the unexplained absence of Defense China’s Minister Li Shangfu, amid reports of a corruption probe.
Scrutiny of Senior Party Members
The ruling Communist Party’s senior members are currently under scrutiny for their interactions with foreigners, and the top leadership of China’s military also investigated.
Qin Gang’s Rapid Rise
Qin Gang’s career saw a rapid ascent through the diplomatic ranks. He gained prominence in 2015 when he has put in charge of protocol at the foreign ministry. During his six-year tenure, he organized state visits of top leaders to China’s and gained access to President Xi Jinping. Qin has even photographed alongside Xi during a meeting with then-US President Donald Trump in Beijing in 2017.
Stint in Washington
In 2021, Qin has assigned to Washington, where he became more publicly visible. He embraced American culture by attending a baseball game and riding in a Tesla with Elon Musk. He also made moderate remarks on sensitive topics, such as suggesting that Beijing would have tried to prevent Russia from invading Ukraine if it had known of their plans and downplaying the risk of a conflict with Taiwan.