UPDATE - Wang Yi back as China’s foreign minister

UPDATE - Wang Yi back as China’s foreign minister

Qin, 57, was not seen in public for a month

UPDATES WITH MORE DETAILS; CHANGES HEADLINE AND DECK, EDITS THROUGHOUT

By Riyaz ul Khaliq and Necva Tastan

ISTANBUL (AA) – China on Tuesday removed Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who was not seen in public for a month, and re-appointed Wang Yi as the country's top diplomat, state media said.

Qin, 57, was removed after China’s top legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, convened a session on Tuesday.

Known as a pioneer of the so-called “wolf warrior diplomacy,” Qin was the youngest member of China's State Council, the de facto Cabinet.

He was considered to be a confidant of President Xi Jinping, and was appointed foreign minister in December 2022. Before becoming the country's top diplomat, he served as Chinese ambassador to the US.

Qin's last public appearance was on June 25 when he hosted counterparts from Russia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

His absence from a high-level ASEAN summit in Indonesia had raised eyebrows, but the Foreign Ministry had said he was unavailable because of health issues.

Qin also met his US counterpart Antony Blinken in Beijing early last month, and oversaw the resumption of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran in March.

Wang, 69, served as foreign minister for nearly 10 years from 2013.

NPC Standing Committee is empowered since March 2021 to appoint or remove any official from office at the State Council.

Earlier, appointment or removal of officials from the de facto Cabinet would only be approved at a national congress of the Chinese lawmakers.​​​​​​​

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