China’s recently ousted foreign minister Qin Gang allegedly had an affair and fathered a child with a woman in the U.S. while serving as his country’s ambassador in Washington, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing it as the reason for his removal from the top cabinet post in July.
In a shock move in late July, Beijing announced that Qin—who disappeared from public view for several weeks—had been replaced by his predecessor Wang Yi as the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
According to the Journal, senior Chinese officials were informed in August that Qin’s removal was the result of a Communist Party internal investigation that discovered his “lifestyle issues”—a phrase that usually means sexual misconduct.
In Qin’s case, the former top diplomat is believed to have had an affair with a woman while serving as China’s ambassador to Washington, which reportedly resulted in the birth of a child in the U.S.
The report did not mention the identities of the woman and child and it is unclear if they are U.S. or Chinese citizens.
Beijing is now investigating if the affair may have impacted China’s national security and Qin is reportedly cooperating.
What To Watch For
Despite being removed as China’s foreign minister in July, Qin continues to be listed as one of the five members of China’s State Council. A state councilor is a high ranking position in China’s government hierarchy, similar to that of a cabinet minister. It is unclear if he will have to cede this position after the investigation is completed and if he will face any criminal charges.
Before his ouster was made official, Qin had not made a public appearance for nearly a month, triggering speculation about his fate. At the time, Beijing had blamed his absence from public view on health issues. Qin isn’t the only top government official in hot water as reports from last week suggest another cabinet member, Defence Minister Li Shangfu, is currently being investigated on corruption charges. Qin’s ouster and Li being under investigation may cause major embarrassment for Xi, as both these individuals were seen as his trusted aides and were handpicked by him to join the cabinet. Earlier this year, Xi tightened his grip on power in China after being granted an unprecedented third term as the country’s president.
China’s Ex-Foreign Minister Ousted After Alleged Affair, Senior Officials Told (Wall Street Journal)