Latest World News: Where is Qin Gang? The Chinese foreign minister was not seen in a
By India Today World Desk: Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, a trusted aide to President Xi Jinping, has been absent from public view for nearly a month now, sparking intense speculation about his whereabouts, once again underscoring China’s secrecy. His last public engagement was a meeting with visiting Russian, Sri Lankan and Vietnamese officials on June 25. Then he disappeared.
The last time the 57-year-old rising star of Chinese politics disappeared from public view was just for eight days during the Lunar New Year holiday.
Qin Gang has been replaced as head of Beijing’s delegation to the ASEAN summit in Indonesia. Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at the time that Qin would not go for health reasons, but gave no details.
Talks between the foreign minister and European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell have also been pushed back after China informed the EU that dates were no longer possible. Beijing has not provided any explanation for this.
The EU was informed of the postponement just two days before Borrell was expected to arrive in Beijing, a source told Reuters.
Speculation was fueled when Qin Gang was once again absent from President Xi’s meeting with former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
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Almost a month later, he is still missing and China has not spoken about it. Discussion of his absence has apparently been censored on Chinese social media site Weibo. A search for Qin Gang’s whereabouts on the platform returned the message with no results, The Guardian reported.
Searches for “Qin Gang” on search engine Baidu surged 28-fold in the past week to more than 380,000 a day, according to data from the platform, Reuters reported.
Qin’s absence has also been widely discussed in the diplomatic community, with some saying it is another example of China’s lack of transparency.
“Given China’s status and influence in the world, it is indeed very strange that its foreign minister has not appeared in public for more than 20 days,” Deng Yuwen, a former Communist Party newspaper editor who now lives in the United States, told CNN.
BUSINESS WITH A JOURNALIST?
Rumors that Qin Gang is having an affair with a reporter, Fu Xiaotian, may be the reason for his absence, The New York Times reported.
China’s ruling Communist Party officially bars executives from having extramarital affairs, and its discipline watchdog often cites cases when accusing senior officials of corruption. However, former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli still appeared at last year’s leadership convention shortly after a scandal over an alleged account of a decade-long affair.
Responding to reports that Qin was caught having an affair with a Chinese journalist, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on July 17, I have no information to offer.
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WHAT DO THE CHINESE SAY?
One of the prominent faces of the Chinese government, Qin Gang’s prolonged absence has not only been scrutinized by diplomats and China watchers, but also by ordinary Chinese people.
“Qin Gang is gone. Not only is he missing from the news cycle in China, he is also missing from my article! As published by the SCMP (South China Morning Post) on July 15, five sentences about Qin were removed (without notice) from the article after it was accepted for publication.”
Hu Xijin, former editor of the Global Times, also took to Weibo to address the rumours. “There’s something everyone talks about but can’t talk about publicly,” Hu Xijin said without referring to Qin.
“People are interested in history because they are curious about the secrets of the black box,” Wu Qiang, a Beijing-based Chinese political commentator, told the BBC.
“His disappearance highlighted the fragility of China’s diplomatic system and high-level decision-making system.”
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Qin is considered a rising star in the Chinese political firmament. The former aide to President Xi Jinping was named foreign minister in December after serving less than two years as ambassador to the United States.
Since taking office as foreign secretary, he has played a leading role in managing the difficult relationship between the United States and China, meeting Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing in June during the first visit to China by the top American diplomat in five years.
China has a long history of sudden and often unexplained official absences, particularly seen during the height of Beijing’s anti-corruption campaign.
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An Overview of Global Events in 2023
In 2023, the world witnessed a myriad of events that left a lasting impact on global affairs. From political developments and economic shifts to environmental challenges and breakthroughs in science and technology, the year was marked by significant changes and a sense of urgency for collective action. Here’s an overview of some of the latest world news in 2023.
Political Unrest and Diplomatic Strides:
In the political arena, several regions experienced unrest and geopolitical tensions. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East continued to dominate headlines, with efforts towards peace and stability remaining elusive. However, there were also moments of diplomatic breakthroughs as nations engaged in dialogues to ease tensions and work towards lasting solutions.
The global economy faced both challenges and opportunities. Trade disputes between major powers affected markets, while some countries grappled with debt crises. On the other hand, emerging economies showed resilience and promising growth, fueling optimism for a more balanced global economic landscape.
Innovation surged forward in the tech industry, with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration. Quantum computing achieved milestones, promising radical transformations across industries. Renewable energy sources gained traction, with many countries setting ambitious goals to combat climate change.
Climate Crisis and Environmental Resilience:
As the climate crisis intensified, extreme weather events wreaked havoc in various parts of the world. Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods reminded humanity of the urgent need for climate action. In response, governments and communities across the globe doubled down on efforts to reduce carbon emissions, invest in sustainable infrastructure, and protect biodiversity.
Health and Pandemic Management:
Health remained a global priority as countries continued to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With the emergence of new variants, vaccination efforts and public health measures remained crucial to curbing the spread of the virus. There were also significant advancements in medical research and technology, offering hope for better preparedness in handling future health crises.
Sports and Cultural Milestones:
Amidst the challenges, the world found moments of joy and unity through sports and culture. International sporting events brought together athletes from diverse backgrounds, promoting solidarity and camaraderie. Cultural exchanges and celebrations showcased the richness of human diversity and fostered mutual understanding.
In conclusion, the year 2023 was a dynamic period filled with significant events that shaped the course of history. From political unrest to technological advancements and environmental challenges, the world witnessed the complexities of the global landscape. While obstacles remained, there were also encouraging developments and collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for all nations. As we move forward, the lessons learned from these events serve as a reminder of the importance of collective action and cooperation to address shared global challenges.