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Meet the Chinese VP Who is Fast Becoming a Major Player in Beijing’s Diplomacy

The role of a Chinese vice president, like their U.S. counterpart, has largely been ceremonial, particularly in the diplomatic sphere where the Director of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Foreign Affairs Commission and the Foreign Minister (now a combined role) have traditionally been the most prominent envoys. ...

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

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.

Decoding Qin Gang’s Demotion: “He’s Either Dying or Under Discipline”

One month after Qin Gang made his last public appearance as foreign minister, China's top legislative body removed him from the post on Tuesday and re-appointed the country's most senior foreign policy official Wang Yi to the position. Despite rampant speculation over ...

Who’s in Charge of China’s Foreign Policy, the Party or the State?

It's been 29 days since anyone saw Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in public. Why he's gone missing is anyone's guess. No one outside of a small number of elite Chinese leaders really knows what's going on, so beware of any speculation you read on Twitter or ...

What Happened to Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang?

It's been three weeks since Qin Gang was last seen in public, sparking a wave of rumors (many emanating from Taiwan) that the Chinese Foreign Minister has been benched for allegedly having an affair with Phoenix News TV journalist Fu Xiaotian. Initially, ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Misadventures in the Skin Trade

This week I spent a few days in Cape Town, in time for a minor, if telling, crisis in international agricultural trade. A ship crammed with 19,000 (mostly still living) cows was stuck in Cape Town harbor, en route from Brazil to the Middle East.
As South African animal welfare authorities scrambled to inspect the horrors on board, the city was enveloped in a powerful farmyard funk. The entire episode can ...

South African, Chinese Communist Party Officials Meet in Beijing

The head of South Africa's Communist Party, Solly Afrika Mapaila, met the director of the CPC's international liaison department, Liu Jianchao, on Tuesday in Beijing.  From the gist of the read-out of the meeting, it does not appear that the meeting ...