July 25, 2023 | 3:54 p.m.
China’s overseas minister was ousted from his submit after disappearing from the general public eye for greater than a month, sparking rumors on social media that he fathered a love little one with a Cambridge-educated TV presenter.
Qin Gang, 57, was changed on Tuesday by his predecessor Wang Yi, 69, in a dramatic transfer within the Chinese language authorities.
Gang has solely held his position since December, however he has not been seen publicly since June 25, when he met a Sri Lankan minister in Beijing.
His absence sparked hypothesis on Chinese language social media, together with that Gang, believed to be a married man, fathered a love little one with TV presenter Fu Xiaotian, 40.
Xiaotian additionally disappeared from public view across the similar time, Taiwan and Hong Kong newspapers reported, based on The Occasions UK.
And his son, Er-Kin, was additionally not seen.
The one picture of the toddler accessible on her social media web page in america seems on his Twitter from April, the place the couple had been seen on a non-public jet departing from Los Angeles.
In the identical submit, she posted a screenshot of her interview with Gang, who was the final chief she spoke to on her “Speak with World Leaders” present.
Viewers additionally touched on their flirtatious nature within the March interview – the place the screenshot was from.
The couple’s physique language reportedly deviated from their standard enterprise demeanor they usually reportedly made extra eye contact than standard.
All discussions on Weibo concerning the pair’s extra relaxed conduct had been shortly censored.
Chinese language human rights activist Lin Shengliang claimed that Xiaotian posted a photograph of her and her son with the caption, “A victorious fence”, the identical day Gang was promoted to state councilor in March on his Weibo account.
This began to make folks marvel if the submit was a silent congratulations to Gang.
Moreover, detectives imagine they discovered a non-public Instagram account for Xiaotian, below the username xfu.126, which featured a photograph of a child that regarded lots like her personal, and a photograph of her on the Millennium Biltmore Lodge LA carrying a white costume with a crimson overcoat.
In a second snap, Gang was seen in costume at what seemed to be a celebration.
Many within the feedback speculated that they bought married.
She additionally posted photographs of her son’s one centesimal birthday celebration to the account on March 4, which seem to have taken place at her Los Angeles residence.
A number of days later, on her Weibo account, she posted a collection of photographs of a mountaintop view, revealing to her followers that she and her lover had climbed the mountain on Valentine’s Day to have a good time their son’s one centesimal day.
She additionally revealed that her boo doesn’t rule from america.
“Oh, and simply so you understand, my son’s father will not be American. We are literally planning to return to our residence nation quickly, and we’re extraordinarily enthusiastic about it! she wrote on her social media.
Xiaotian was born in China.
Nonetheless, posts of hypothesis concerning the couple had been shortly taken down on WeChat, Weibo and others because the websites are closely censored.
Moreover, when the ministry was requested concerning the romance rumor, spokesperson Mao Ning mentioned she had “no understanding of the matter.”
Fang Zhouz, a Chinese language science author, mentioned if the romance allegation was not true, the ministry would have merely denied it as baseless, somewhat than saying it had no details about it.
Zhouz mentioned Ning’s hesitation instructed the rumors had been true.
Gang, a profession diplomat, beforehand labored as an aide to Chinese language chief Xi Jinping, in addition to China’s overseas minister in Washington, DC.
He additionally labored as a spokesperson for the International Workplace twice from 2006 to 2014 and was director of protocol from 2014 to 2018.
His ousting occurred through the assembly of the Standing Committee of the Nationwide Individuals’s Congress of China, which was swiftly executed the day earlier than – deviating from regular protocol.
His dismissal comes as China works exhausting to restore diplomatic relations after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gang was believed to play an necessary position in resolving strained relations and had labored exhausting to open communications between america and China, based on CNN.
He had met US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken a couple of days earlier than his disappearance.
After Gang retreated from the general public eye, the Chinese language authorities cited “well being causes” as why he missed a diplomatic assembly, in addition to the annual overseas ministers’ assembly in Indonesia and a gathering in South Africa.
Since his ouster, any point out of him on the International Workplace web site has been eliminated.
Final week, searches for his identify on Baidu – China’s largest search engine – skyrocketed by greater than 5,000%, overtaking a number of the hottest Chinese language celebrities, based on the BBC.
This isn’t the primary time a Chinese language official has disappeared from public view, because it has develop into a typical tactic in Jinping’s anti-corruption marketing campaign, based on CNN.
Typically, it’s revealed a lot later that these officers had been below investigation after they disappeared. It’s unclear if Gang was below investigation.
Hours after Gang’s ouster was introduced, Pakistani International Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted his congratulations to Wang, saying he was “a shrewd and seasoned diplomat.”
As for Gang’s political future, that is still unsure, analysts say, noting there’s nonetheless no readability on whether or not he’ll retain his position as a state councilor, a member of China’s cupboard.
“Qin’s withdrawal with out clarification has left rumors and hypothesis about his disappearance untouched,” mentioned Dali Yang, a political science professor on the College of Chicago.
“His destiny is left hanging and is a stark reminder of the opacity of China’s political system.”
With submit wires