July 11 (Reuters) – Chinese language Overseas Minister Chen Gang won’t attend a diplomatic gathering in Indonesia this week for well being causes, a spokesman for his ministry stated on Tuesday.
Wang Wenbin, the highest diplomat, will symbolize China on the conferences in Jakarta as a substitute, spokesman Wang Wenbin stated at a daily briefing, confirming a Reuters report quoting sources conversant in the matter who stated Wang would attend on Chen’s behalf.
The overseas ministers of the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China are scheduled to fulfill on Thursday, forward of Friday’s East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Discussion board.
“State Councilor and Overseas Minister Qin Gang can not attend the ASEAN ministerial assembly as a consequence of well being causes,” stated spokesman Wang Wenbin. He didn’t elaborate.
Chen, 57, took over from Wang as overseas minister in December and was final seen in public on June 25 in Beijing after assembly officers from Sri Lanka, Russia and Vietnam.
His absence didn’t go unnoticed.
A State Division spokesperson, when requested final Friday about an article in US political information web site Politico that cited hypothesis that well being points could also be behind Chen’s absence, stated he had “not heard” of the report.
An EU spokesperson stated Chen was supposed to fulfill EU overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell final week in Beijing, however the assembly was postponed after China informed the EU that the dates had been “now not attainable”.
The EU was knowledgeable of the delay simply two days earlier than Borrell’s scheduled arrival on July 5, in accordance with a supply conversant in the plans.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is because of attend the conferences in Jakarta this week, marking one other alternative for talks with China as Washington seeks to put the groundwork within the tense relations between the key powers.
Blinken met Chen and Wang Yi in Beijing final month, the primary go to to China by a US secretary of state in 5 years.
Wang Yi, the overseas coverage chief of the Chinese language Communist Get together, ranks above Chen, who as the federal government’s overseas coverage chief holds the publish of overseas minister.
Extra reporting by Yu Lun Tian in Beijing, Karen Lima in Manila and Stanley Widianto in Jakarta; Written by Martin Beatty and John Geddy; Edited by Robert Purcell
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