Wang Yi has replaced Qin Gang as China’s foreign minister

Hong Kong

Qin Gang was the foreign minister of China His predecessor Wang Yi was abruptly replaced in a surprise shake-up of China’s foreign policy leadership.

China’s top decision-making body, the rubber-stamp parliament, voted for the measure on Tuesday, state media reported. This comes after Kin disappeared from public view without explanation for a month.

Qin, 57, has not been seen in public since June 25 after meeting officials from Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Russia in Beijing, prompting significant speculation about his fate in China’s notoriously opaque political system.

A career diplomat and trusted aide to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Qin had been in his role as foreign minister since December after a brief stint as ambassador to the United States.

He played a key role in efforts by the US and China to restore contact and stabilize rocky ties, including meeting US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during a US diplomat’s visit to Beijing in mid-June.

Replacing a foreign minister with his predecessor is an unusual move.

Wang, who served as foreign minister from 2013-2022, now serves as director of the ruling Communist Party’s foreign affairs division, making him China’s highest-ranking diplomat.

This is a breaking story. More to follow.

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