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China’s defense minister is just the latest victim of Beijing’s disappearing act

The recent disappearance of China’s Defense Minister Li Shangfu is the latest in a long line of mysterious absences involving high-profile Chinese figures.

US intelligence said Li, who had not been seen in public for weeks, had been removed from his post as defense minister and is currently under questioning by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities ), The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Li’s alleged disappearance joins a list of other Chinese politicians and businessmen who have disappeared in recent history, with some of them eventually returning to the public eye and others remaining missing.

One such example is Qin Gang, the former foreign minister of China. Considered a rising star in Chinese politics and a close ally of President Xi Jinping, Qin previously served as ambassador to the United States from July 2021 to 2022, and was later promoted to the position of foreign minister in late 2022, according to the Washington Post.

Qin was last seen in public on June 25 while meeting with Russian, Vietnamese and Sri Lankan diplomats in Beijing, according to the Post. For the remainder of June and part of July, Qin was absent from all of his meetings for unspecified “health reasons”, and his predecessor Wang Yi attended the meetings in his absence.


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