China appoints Wang Yi as new foreign minister, replacing Qin Gang

China’s state media reported on Tuesday that Wang Yi has been named as the new foreign minister, replacing Qin Gang, who left the post after a one-month absence.

Wang Yi, 69, who temporarily filled in for Qin during his absence, is no stranger to the role, having previously served as foreign minister from 2018 to 2022.

The reasons behind the switch were not immediately clear as China’s foreign ministry has not commented on the matter so far.

Qin Gang, 57, became one of China’s youngest foreign ministers in December when he assumed the position after serving as envoy to the United States. However, his recent one-month absence from public appearances raised questions and fueled speculation due to the lack of detailed information provided by his ministry.

In June, the ministry stated that Qin was off work due to unspecified health reasons, but this limited explanation left room for speculation. With the appointment of Wang Yi, the diplomatic landscape of China is set for a notable transition.