No news from Chinese foreign minister after missing ASEAN Summit

Beijing, Jul 18 (EFE).- Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has not been seen in public for three weeks after missing the ASEAN meeting held in Indonesia, which Beijing said the chancellor missed due to health reasons.

Qin, one of the faces of the new generation of Chinese diplomats known as “wolf warriors,” was last seen in public on June 25, the day he met in the Chinese capital with Sri Lankan, Russian and Vietnamese officials.

Since, neither the diplomatic portfolio nor the official press of the country have mentioned the former Chinese ambassador to the United States between 2021 and 2022, which has raised all kinds of speculation about his whereabouts.

This prolonged absence contrasts with his sudden rise in December, when his firm and aggressive tone was awarded the country’s chancellery, kicking off months of frenetic activity with the opening of the country after the end of the “zero Covid-19”’ policy.

Qin replaced Wang Yi – now the top head of Chinese diplomacy as head of the Chinese Communist Party Foreign Office – with an international agenda marked by the war in Ukraine or the growing rivalry with Washington.

His last high-profile public appearance took place in June, when he met in Beijing with US State Secretary Antony Blinken as both parties were trying to recover communication to avoid further conflicts after the friction of the last months.

Qin, a foreign affairs spokesman between 2005 and 2010, years in which he stood out for his sharp tone and direct and combative responses, was also scheduled to meet this month with European Union Foreign Policy Representative Josep Borrell, before the encounter was postponed.

The foreign minister was scheduled to attend the ASEAN foreign ministers held in Indonesia last week, but predecessor Wang attended instead.

“Minister Qin will not be able to attend the meeting for health reasons,” Wang Wenbin, spokesman for the ministry, said at a press conference.

Qin also did not participate in the meetings held in Beijing by the US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, or in those being held these days by the White House Special Envoy for Climate Change, John Kerry, whom Wang Yi received Tuesday in Beijing. EFE


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