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Analyst Handicaps Who’s in Contention to Become China’s Next Foreign Minister

China's newly appointed Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends a meeting with his Turkish counterpart , in Ankara, on July 26, 2023. Wang Yi this week returns as China's foreign minister, stepping into a job he held for almost a decade in the face of the month-long absence of deposed diplomat Qin Gang. POOL / AFP

The “House of Cards”-style drama that’s unfolded in the Chinese Foreign Ministry over the past month is prompting intense speculation from China watchers in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere over who will ultimately become foreign minister following Qin Gang’s unexpected exit last week.

Wang Yi, the Chinese Communist Party’s top foreign policy official, stepped back into the role, but most experts believe he’s going to be stretched too thin to manage the entire diplomatic portfolio alone for a prolonged period.

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