DISAPPEARED: Was Qin Gang, China’s former foreign minister, a U.S. spy?

He was China’s foreign minister for less than one year. But between his appointment in December 2022 and mysterious disappearance in July 2023, Qing Gang won over the mainland population, becoming one of the most admired CCP ministers.

His views at times were controversial – notably it was well known Qin Gang was opposed to a military invasion of Taiwan.

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He also met regularly with Washington – more than any other high-ranking Chinese government offical. Between all of this, he was long-rumoured to be having an affair with glamorous Chinese TV present Fu Xiaotian.

Gang’s position as Foreign Minister was sensationally cut short in July this year.

On Monday July 31, it was announced the standing committee of the National Peoples’ Congress would gather the following day for an emergency meeting.

At that meeting, it was announced Qin Gang has been “removed” as Foreign Minister. Gang’s predecessor Wang Yi (China Foreign Minister 2013 – 2022) was reappointed to the role.

Articles about Qin Gang and his speech transcripts were immediately removed from the China Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Mystery has since surrounded the removal of Gang. There’s been no offical explanation from the Chinese Government.

His last public appearance was on June 25, when he met with the Vietnamese Foreign Minister, Bui Thanh Son.

Since then, then 57 year old has not been seen in public – missing for 10 weeks.

Qin Gang spy rumours

It’s the persistent rumour which has been circulating since Qing Gang was removed from office – he was part of a United States’ spy operation.

Foreign intelligence agency publication, Intelligence Online, was the first respected publication to release information on the Qin Gang spy rumours. This is what IO said.

According to our sources, several Western intelligence services are now convinced that Russian intelligence told Xi Jinping’s teams that China’s foreign minister Qin Gang was at the heart of a spying operation on behalf of the United States.

“Since Qin went missing, the intelligence services of China, the West and their allies have been working across several bandwidths to eke out the truth of his situation. The first talk of treason being the reason Qin was fired came out of Taiwan in July. Senior-ranking sources in Taiwan have confirmed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) suspects the former minister sent strategic information to Washington.

Fu Xiaotian affair

The sensational spy narrative centers around an extramarital affair Gang was reportable having with Fu Xiaotian, a TV journalist at the Chinese state-owned network, Phoenix Hong Kong.

Xiaotian was the well-known presenter and producer of the network’s political program, Talk with World Leaders.

Notably rumours about Fu Xiaotian’s affair with Qing Gang, and the pair’s links to a U.S. spy scandal, have not been censored from Chinese social media. Observers of Chinese politics and media will know this is conspicuous.

Fu Xiaotian abruptly quit the show in April. The only public statement was a tweet, which included an image of the Journalist on a private jet with her baby boy.

“Last time flying alone with this aircraft was from LA to DC for a work visit, and that both happily and sadly turned to be the very last interview I did with Talk with World Leaders.

“This time to fly out with this aircraft was also from LA, but with precious baby son Er-Kin,” she said.

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“One gets the sinking feeling that the snazzy private jet was not so much a sign of success and having made it, but a gilded invitation to detention and interrogation back in China,” says Phil Cunningham, a Chinese media expert and author of the China Story substack.

In March 2022, Fu Xiaotian shared an interview she did with Qin Gang on Twitter.

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The video has recently been set to “private”. Meaning only administrators of the TV Network’s account can access it.

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However, Phil Cunningham took various screenshots of the pair in the interview, before it was taken down.

Qin Gang and Fu Xiaotian
Qin Gang and Fu Xiaotian in the March 2022 interview. Screen shot captured by Phil Cunningham (https://jinpeili.substack.com/)

Fu Xiaotian has now not been seen in public for close to 6 months.

Weather she was caught up with Gang’s spy ties or was infact working for the CCP and exposed Gang, depends on which version of the rumours you hear.

However, according to Intelligence Online, sources have claimed it was in fact Xiaotian who compromised Gang, as speculation mounts she was CCP spy – used to seduce and get intel from the officials she interviewed on her popular program.

But not everyone is convinced.

Speaking to the Asia Society, Christopher Johnson, a senior fellow at the Society, cast doubt over the spy reports.

“I am very doubtful that this is a situation of either the British, U.S. or other allied intelligence services using what the Russian’s would call ‘kompromat’ against Qin Gang,” he said.

“In my experience, western services don’t tend to use that tactic because you get a very unreliable source… So I find that hard to believe.”

Nonetheless, both Qin Gang and Fu Xiaotian remain unaccounted for, and no one knows why.

It’s taken some time, but world leaders are beginning to call for answers. Most recently the European Union’s Asia department chief, Gunnar Wiegand said “I do hope that, indeed, the Chinese leadership will give more information about what has happened.”