China has refused to comment on a Wall Street Journal report that former foreign minister Qin Gang was removed from his position due to an alleged extramarital affair with a TV presenter.
The report stated that a Communist Party investigation found Qin had engaged in an extramarital affair while serving as China’s envoy to Washington. Qin, a trusted aide of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, was replaced abruptly in July after just seven months in the role, sparking speculation about his fate.
China has not provided an explanation for Qin’s removal, and earlier claims of “health reasons” were later removed from official statements.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese officials were briefed on the investigation, which cited “lifestyle issues” as the reason for Qin’s dismissal, likely referring to sexual misconduct.
The investigation revealed that Qin had an extramarital affair resulting in the birth of a child in the US.
Qin is cooperating with the ongoing investigation, which is assessing potential national security implications.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson claimed not to be aware of the information and referenced the previous announcement of Qin’s replacement.
Despite his removal, Qin remains listed as one of China’s five State Councilors. His ousting coincided with heightened national security concerns under Xi’s leadership, as tensions with the United States and its allies grew.
Qin previously served as the Chinese Ambassador to the US and played a role in diplomatic efforts between the two countries.
According to his official biographical information, Qin is married with a son, but his name does not appear on lists of former foreign ministers or vice and assistant ministers on the Foreign Ministry’s website.