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WASHINGTON — This is baby mama drama on an international stage.
Just seven months into his tenure as China’s foreign minister, Qin Gang was mysteriously booted from his job as Beijing’s top diplomat in July.
The reason? He appears to have been sleeping with the enemy — literally.
In a story that could belong on Page Six, the Wall Street Journal revealed Tuesday Qin was canned after Chinese President Xi Jinping discovered his former confidant had fathered a love child in the United States during his time as Beijing’s ambassador to Washington.
This was no one-night stand, either.
Qin’s extramarital affair with the child’s mother reportedly lasted during his entire 18-month tenure in DC, where he was the go-to diplomat for relations with the US — China’s top adversary.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning did not address the bombshell report during her daily press briefing on Tuesday, nor did reporters in Beijing ask about the matter, according to a transcript.
Once a trusted aide to Xi, Qin moved back to Beijing from Washington this past January when he was named foreign minister, the Chinese government’s equivalent of the US secretary of state.
Though Qin’s tenure lasted only a few months, he oversaw US-China relations during an intense period marked by a postponed visit from Secretary of State Antony Blinken following Washington’s discovery that Beijing had launched a spy balloon into American airspace.
After President Biden directed the military to shoot down the balloon off the coast of South Carolina this past February, Qin led China’s messaging campaign denying the craft was intentionally sent across the US, unsuccessfully attempting to convince Washington that it was a “civilian airship” that had gone off course.
In one of his final acts before mysteriously disappearing from public view in June, Qin met with Blinken during the secretary’s rescheduled trip to Beijing, aiming to cool the boiling US-China tensions that have concerned much of the world.
China’s foreign ministry initially cited health concerns as the reason for Qin’s absence, but whispers grew louder when Xi stripped Qin of his title the following month without explanation.
Senior officials in China were privately briefed in August on the real and scandalous reason Qin was removed following an internal Chinese Communist Party investigation, according to the Journal.
CCP investigators did not reveal the identities of Qin’s mistress and child to party officials, but confirmed that the baby was born in the United States, according to the report.
It is unclear whether the mistress was an American citizen or whether the child was given US citizenship.
While the Constitution holds that anyone born in the US is guaranteed citizenship, babies born to foreign diplomats are typically exempt.
However, if the love child was born to an American woman, the infant may qualify for birthright citizenship through its mother.
Depending on the mother’s nationality, the affair and resulting offspring could have created national security concerns for China as Xi attempts to crack down on any perceived vulnerabilities among his senior leadership and Beijing’s relationship with the US becomes more strained.
Two weeks ago, Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu was taken in for an interrogation and is believed to be under investigation by the CCP, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Similar to Qin, Li disappeared from the public eye in August and has not been seen publicly since. Like Qin, Li is predicted to also lose his title at the conclusion of the reported investigation.
China’s foreign and defense ministries did not respond to The Post’s requests for comment on Tuesday.
The apparent turmoil among China’s top foreign and military affairs officials comes as Washington and Beijing weigh potential ways to ease the tense relationship.
While Xi snubbed a trip to New York for the UN General Assembly this week, US officials are hopeful that the Chinese president will come to San Francisco in November for a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders.
Both US and Chinese officials in statements have expressed interest in smoothing over relations, potentially through a separate summit between Biden and Xi in the US.
Meanwhile, Qin has been replaced as foreign minister by Wang Yi, who met over the weekend with US national security adviser Jake Sullivan in Malta.
The pair discussed “key issues in the US-China bilateral relationship, global and regional security issues, Russia’s war against Ukraine, and cross-[Taiwan] Strait issues,” according to the State Department.