Qin Gang: Foreign minister’s downfall leaves China red-faced
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Despite weeks of unexplained absences, Mr Qin was decisively removed from the foreign ministry website this week.

Beijing has been left red-faced by this episode, despite its unlikely impact on foreign relations.

Mr Qin showed he was capable of a softer touch despite his reputation as a “wolf warrior”. Particularly during his tenure as ambassador to the United States, this was evident.

As well as urging a more nuanced relationship between the two superpowers, he famously shot hoops at NBA games and threw pitches at baseball games, wooing the Americans in their language.

According to some, his appointment as foreign minister last December signaled Beijing’s attempts to dial down its aggressive image by appointing more even-tempered diplomats.

Despite his efforts to present a more moderate image of China to the world, Mr Qin had little influence on the country’s actual foreign policy.

In China’s party-centric power hierarchy, Wang Yi, the head of the Communist Party’s foreign affairs commission, was still his boss when he was foreign minister. The job previously held by Mr Qin has now been taken over by Mr Wang.

At the end of the day, both parties had to follow the political ideologies of their presidents.

“Xi Jinping handpicked Qin Gang not to make foreign policy but to act as the implementer-in-chief of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy,” Neil Thomas told the BBC.

Xi and his inner circle are responsible for major foreign policy decisions.”

Aside from keeping his current role, Mr Wang is now swiftly assuming his old one.

Beijing appears eager to demonstrate continuity and reassure the global community that business is as usual under the veteran diplomat