China dismisses outspoken foreign minister Qin Gang following his prolonged absence without explanation.

The controversial foreign minister of China, Qin Gang, who hasn’t been seen in public in a month, has been fired and replaced by his predecessor.

Qin Gang’s departure was not explained by the Chinese state media, but it followed rumors about his personal life and political rivals.

In keeping with the customary policy of the ruling Communist Party regarding personnel matters, the foreign ministry has not disclosed any information regarding Mr. Qin’s status.

In response to international criticism of China’s increasingly assertive foreign policy, Wang Yi has taken his place.

Mr. Qin was one of the policy’s leading proponents.

He last appeared in public on June 25 in Beijing, where he met with representatives of Sri Lanka, Russia, and Vietnam.

Mr. Qin would not attend the ceremony, according to the Chinese foreign ministry, due to an unidentified health concern.

Before going missing, Mr. Qin had been an active participant in diplomatic events.

However, he missed the visits of other top US officials this month, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and US climate envoy John Kerry, after his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on June 18 in Beijing.

At the ASEAN gathering this month in Indonesia, Mr. Wang was the one who met Mr. Blinken.

The disappearance of Qin has limited China’s diplomatic activity over the past month, but it will not significantly affect the country’s foreign policy or pose significant reputational problems for Xi, according to a note published by the New York-based Eurasia Group before Mr. Qin was removed.

The National People’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp legislature, met at the end of the month to have its monthly meeting of the standing committee, where Mr. Wang’s appointment was approved.

Previously, Mr. Wang headed the party’s office of international affairs and was thus China’s top diplomat.

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