The state media announcement comes a month after Qin Gang’s last public appearance, as his predecessor, Wang Yi, took his place.
State media reported that the Chinese government had removed Chen Gang as foreign minister and replaced him with his predecessor, Wang Yi.
“China’s highest legislative body voted to appoint Wang Yi as foreign minister… a session was held on Tuesday,” Xinhua news agency reported. Qin Gang has been removed from the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The announcement came a month after Chen’s last public appearance.
The 57-year-old, who took over as foreign minister in December, has not appeared in public since June 25, when he held talks with counterparts from Russia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.
Ken’s final appearance on state media was a meeting with Russia’s deputy foreign minister Andrei Rudenko, who visited Beijing less than 48 hours after the Wagner mercenary group’s failed mutiny against senior military officers in Moscow.
China then canceled talks between Chen and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on July 4 without explanation.
Chen subsequently missed high-level meetings with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and US climate envoy John Kerry.
China’s foreign ministry also later said Chen could not attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Jakarta for “health reasons”.
His mysterious absence fueled speculation that Chen had fallen out of favor with the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.
The Tianjin native has served in the Chinese government since the late 1980s, mostly in roles related to foreign affairs.
Chen was seen as a close confidant of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and seen as a rising star within the Chinese Communist Party.
In recent years, it has been seen as an example of Beijing’s shift toward so-called “wolf warrior” aggressive diplomacy.
A number of prominent people in China have disappeared for long periods of time without explanation in recent years.
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