China’s former Foreign Minister Qin Gang was reported to have been removed from his position in July after allegedly having an extramarital affair while serving as China’s ambassador to the United States.
Internal investigation: According to an internal Communist Party investigation, Qin, 57, was removed from his role following a mysterious one-month absence, reported the Wall Street Journal.
“Lifestyle issues”: The formal reason given for his dismissal was “lifestyle issues,” which is often a euphemism for sexual misconduct. The investigation also revealed that the affair occurred throughout Qin’s tenure as ambassador and led to the birth of a child in the U.S.
Qin, who was replaced by diplomat Wang Yi in July, is said to be cooperating with an investigation that is now focused on whether the affair or his conduct compromised China’s national security.
Foreign ministry comment: When asked about the WSJ article, China’s current foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stated that they were not aware of the information about Qin.
Broader crackdown: The incident is part of a broader crackdown on Chinese officials’ dealings with foreigners and top military brass in China. It is seen as a challenge to President Xi Jinping’s efforts to maintain stability and control in the face of economic challenges and tensions with Western countries. The Chinese government has tightened restrictions on officials with overseas connections to minimize geopolitical risks. Xi has also repeatedly targeted alleged corruption and extravagant lifestyles within the party’s leadership.