Over Missing Chinese Official Grow

China’s former foreign minister, Qin Gang, has recently resigned from his position as a delegate to the 14th National People’s Congress. The Tianjin Municipal People’s Congress Standing Committee has accepted his resignation, according to a report by Xinhua.

Qin, who previously served as China’s envoy to the United States, assumed the role of foreign minister in January 2023. However, he disappeared from public view in June and was formally removed from his position as a state councilor in October.

Qin’s rise to power was primarily attributed to his close relationship with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, leading some experts to describe him as Xi’s most loyal servant. Yet, his sudden downfall has left many questions unanswered.

The Chinese government has not officially explained Qin’s dismissal as foreign minister, which occurred only six months into his tenure. This lack of transparency has contributed to the mystery surrounding his disappearance and has prompted various theories about his fate.

In November, China’s top disciplinary body hinted at a possible compromise within the ranks of China’s diplomats. In a now-deleted article on the website of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, a senior official named Zhang Jiwen stated that diplomatic and foreign affairs cadres face a relatively high risk of infiltration, incitement, and corruption, particularly in their interactions with Western hostile forces.

One theory suggests that Qin’s alleged affair with former Chinese state media journalist Fu Xiaotian may have played a role in his downfall. Fu also disappeared from public view around the same time as Qin. It is believed that Qin and Fu had a child out of wedlock.

Before Qin was ousted from his position, Fu, a former employee of Phoenix Television in Hong Kong, shared pictures of her son, Er-kin, on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, without disclosing the child’s father’s identity. The Financial Times and CNN reports last year revealed that Fu’s relationship with Qin commenced in 2010.

In a recent op-ed by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, a former U.S. official claimed that Fu had collaborated with British intelligence services for over a decade. Ignatius speculated that Fu’s alleged links to the U.K.’s intelligence services may have influenced Qin’s downfall.

The abrupt resignation and subsequent disappearance of Qin Gang have raised significant speculation and intrigue. As China continues to prioritize securitization across all aspects of its government and society, gaining insights into the inner workings of the country’s political system has become increasingly difficult. The actual reasons behind Qin’s departure remain unknown, leaving room for continued speculation and unanswered questions.