Chinese State Media Ignores Foreign Minister’s Sudden Disappearance, Praises Xi’s Athleticism Instead

(Photo credit should read PETER MUHLY/AFP via Getty Images)

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Philip Lenczycki Investigative Reporter
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Chinese state-run media ignored the nation’s missing foreign minister this week and instead lauded General Secretary Xi Jinping’s alleged athletic prowess, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of China Daily.

In the run up to the FISU World University Games in Chengdu, China Daily’s website touted Xi’s alleged “passion for sports” and hailed him as a “sports fan championing exchanges and fitness for all” in a series of articles that began on Tuesday. On the same day, the Chinese government dismissed Qin Gang, Beijing’s missing foreign minister, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has since scrubbed references of the former ambassador from the internet. (RELATED: China’s Censors Scrub Purged Foreign Minister From Internet Records)

China Daily’s series on Xi’s love of sports began with a slideshow of pictures featuring images of children playing sports overlaid with Xi quotes from August 2014 to May 2023.

One slide showed a boy running with two basketballs and contained an Oct. 15, 2022 quote from Xi: “China will be strong only when its young people are strong.”

Meanwhile, China Daily hasn’t published any articles related to the missing foreign minister, Qin, since perfunctorily noting his removal on Tuesday, a DCNF review found.

On Wednesday, China Daily published a second slideshow highlighting moments between 2014 and 2017 when Xi allegedly demonstrated his “passion for sports.”

The series’ first slide was titled “Holding Court” and showed Xi in January 2017 grasping a badminton racket while meeting with Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.

The second slide pictured Xi in February 2017 “shoulder bumping” a young hockey player in Beijing.

The series’ third slide, titled “Trying Gaelic Sport Of Hurling,” featured Xi in 2012 during a visit to Ireland.

China Daily’s final slide showed Xi in a boxing stance during a 2014 visit to Nanjing.

A third China Daily article published on Thursday cast Xi as a “keen sports enthusiast.”

“Xi has a particular passion for ice hockey, speed skating and figure skating,” China Daily reported.



Qin was last seen on June 25 following rumors of an affair with Phoenix TV journalist Fu Xiaotian, the DCNF recently reported.

During the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ press conference on Wednesday, spokeswoman Mao Ning spent nearly 10 minutes dodging questions about Qin’s disappearance, footage shows.

“Xinhua News Agency issued relevant information, you may refer to the reports — next question,” Mao Ning stated numerous times.

Yet, the ministry’s press conference read-out failed to record the exchange.

Solomon Yue, co-founder of Republicans Overseas, an organization that advocates for Republicans living abroad, told the DCNF that he believes that Qin’s disappearance actually illustrates Xi’s weakness.

“Removing Qin Gang references from Chinese government websites is to stop Xi Jinping’s political hemorrhaging,” Yue said, citing China’s youth unemployment and collapsing real estate market.

“Even though Xi got his third term and put all his lackeys in the CCP Politburo and the State Council, he is still a weak dictator in comparison with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping,” said Yue.

China Daily did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Philip Lenczycki

Daily Caller News Foundation investigative reporter, political journalist, and China watcher. Twitter: @LenczyckiPhilip