The AtlanticThe Atlantic

Why you should worry about China’s missing minister

By Michael Schuman

09 Aug 2023 · 6 min read

informed Summary

  1. The sudden disappearance of Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has highlighted the lack of transparency within the Chinese Communist Party. The secrecy has become increasingly problematic as China’s global influence grows.

The disappearance of Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has generated a torrent of speculation about what might have happened to him. The mystery points to a larger, and disconcerting, truth: We understand very little about the inner workings of Chinese politics at a moment when we need to know more than ever.

China’s Communist regime has always been opaque. But the more China’s global power rises, the more problematic the Communist Party’s secrecy becomes. The decisions made in Beijing influence the wealth and welfare of billions of people, the health of the planet, and war and peace itself. Yet policy makers and diplomats around the world are too often left guessing about how these decisions are made, who is making them, and why.

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