Updated Sep 19, 2023, 10:21am EDT
East Asia

China’s ex-foreign minister was sacked over extramarital affair: Report

REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Pool/File Photo

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The News

Former Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang reportedly engaged in an extramarital affair leading to the birth of a child in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The alleged affair lasted through his tenure as the Chinese ambassador to the U.S. from 2021 to January 2023.

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Qin was forced out of his position in July this year due to what officials described as “health issues.” However, some rumors alleged that Qin was sacked due to “lifestyle issues” a euphemism associated with sexual misconduct within the Chinese Communist Party.

The names of the woman and child were not disclosed to party officials, sources told the Journal, but the investigation is ongoing with Qin’s cooperation.

Following the minister’s weeks-long disappearance before his ouster, Taiwanese and Hong Kong media reported unverified allegations that Qin may have had an affair with famous TV news anchor Fu Xiaotian. A clip of the two engaging in a flirtatious interview from Qin’s time as China’s ambassador to the U.S. dominated social media for days.

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Qin enjoyed an unusually fast rise within China's foreign service and was regarded as one of Xi Jinping's closest and most loyal aides. Some Chinese analysts said that problems with Qin will therefore "reflect badly on Xi too."

But Xi is working to eliminate any form of wrongdoing within the Chinese Communist Party.

Recent reports suggest that Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu, who has not been seen in public for nearly a month, is under investigation for corruption. Chinese officials attributed his absence from an annual defense meeting in Vietnam earlier this month to a "health condition."