Qin Gang's Removal Linked To Extra-Marital Affair In The US As China's Defence Minister Remains Missing

Qin Gang's Removal Linked To Extra-Marital Affair In The US As China's Defence Minister Remains Missing

by Swarajya Staff - Tuesday, September 19, 2023 04:35 PM IST
Qin Gang's Removal Linked To Extra-Marital Affair In The US As China's Defence Minister Remains MissingChina's ex-Foreign Minister, Qin Gang.

Chinese former foreign minister Qin Gang was removed from his post after he was engaged in an extramarital affair in the United States, reported Wall Street Journal.

According to the report, Qin engaged in an extramarital affair and fathered a child while serving as the US ambassador.

In July, Chinese state media reported that Qin was removed from office and replaced with his predecessor Wang Yi, after an absence of more than a month.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not provide reasons for his removal at that time.

According to the WSJ report, an inquiry was launched by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) which cited 'lifestyle issues' as the reason for the investigation. In the language of Chinese officialdom, this typically refers to sexual misconduct.

Sources have indicated that the affair resulted in the birth of a child in the US. The ongoing investigation, with Qin's cooperation, is now focused on whether the affair posed any risks to national security.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has not yet responded to requests for comment on the matter.

The explanation about Qin's removal comes after the similar unexplained absence of Defence Minister Li Shangfu for the past three weeks.

US officials believe that Li has been under investigation for corruption and relieved of his responsibilities as Defence Minister.

The WSJ report adds that senior members of the CCP are now under scrutiny for their interactions with foreigners, and top military officials in China are also facing increased scrutiny.

Apart from Defence Minister Li Shangfu, two other high-ranking officials of the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force were also dismissed.

These events coincide with the commencement of President Xi Jinping's third term in office, marked by a series of unexpected personnel changes.

These unexplained absences of high-ranking officials from Xi's cabinet can be attributed to the rebuke given by the CCP elders to Xi.

Veteran CCP leaders and elders held their annual discussions at the seaside resort of Beidaihe, Hebei Province.

According to a Nikkei Asia report, this year's Beidaihe conclave had a notably different atmosphere, compared to the previous 10 meetings held since Xi became the general secretary of the party in 2012.

Sources quoted in the report stated that during this year's gathering, a group of retired party elders criticised the top leader in unprecedented ways.

Currently, China faces significant challenges, including a declining economy not seen since the inception of "reform and opening-up" in the late 1970s, turmoil in the real estate sector exemplified by the struggles of major developer Evergrande Group, and an alarmingly high youth unemployment rates.

The recent turmoil within the military has caused concern among the party elders who were in power during China's economic rise.

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