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Qin Gang's Public Absence: Comparative Coverage on China's Foreign Minister

July 24, 2023EdgeTheory


The narrative surrounding Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang's absence from public view since June 25 has been amplified by various sources, sparking rumors of marital infidelity, a lovechild, espionage, and speculation about his health.  This Narrative Intelligence aims to highlight differences in reporting by Chinese and Non-Chinese sources.

Rolling Updates

Our Kudzu Narrative Intelligence briefs auto-update every few hours with fresh analysis:

Headline Issues

1. Qin Gang's Unexplained Public Absence Raises Questions and Rumors

Key points include:

  • Qin Gang's absence from high-profile diplomatic meetings since June 25.
  • The Chinese government's claim of health concerns preventing Qin from participating in the ASEAN summit on June 11.
  • Rumors circulating in Hong Kong and Taiwan media about Qin's health and alleged affair with TV presenter Fu Xiaotian.
  • Rumors ranging from a serious Wuhan coronavirus infection to other undisclosed health issues.
  • The Chinese Foreign Ministry's refusal to comment on Qin's disappearance, adding to the mystery surrounding his absence.
  • Unusual timing of his disappearance amid efforts to ease bilateral relations with the United States.

Insights on Top Surfaced Keywords

All Sources in U.S. Media

The keywords that appear more frequently in this category are related to Chinese foreign officials and their interactions with the United States, focusing on the diplomatic relations between the two countries. The mention of topics like the war in Ukraine and human rights indicates the media's attention to ongoing global issues and their connection to China.

Found Only in All Sources in U.S. Media

The keywords that are exclusively found in all sources in U.S. media further highlight the narrative surrounding China's foreign affairs: 

  • the Ministry spokesperson
  • the Biden administration
  • the war in Ukraine
  • climate envoy John Kerry
  • human rights
  • South China Sea

These indicate the media's interest in geopolitical conflicts and environmental issues, as well as the ongoing discussions and concerns regarding China's human rights record and its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Found Only in Chinese Sources

Interestingly, the only keyword found exclusively in Chinese sources in Pacific Region media is "visit to China." This suggests that Chinese media is more focused on reporting visits and engagements with China, potentially highlighting the country's efforts to foster diplomatic relationships with other Pacific nations. This keyword showcases the importance of regional cooperation and China's role in shaping the narrative within the Pacific Region.

Found Only in Non-Chinese Pacific Media Sources

On the other hand, the only keyword found exclusively in non-Chinese sources in Pacific Region media is "regional forum." This indicates that non-Chinese media in the Pacific Region places emphasis on regional cooperation and the discussions held in forums involving various countries. It suggests a narrative that focuses on the collective efforts and concerns of the Pacific nations, independent of China's influence.

Qin Gang Missing amplification distribution by keyword-dynamics

All Sources in U.S. Media

Qin Gang Missing amplification distribution by keyword-dynamics

Chinese Sources in Pacific Region Media

Qin Gang Missing amplification distribution by keyword-dynamics

Non-Chinese Sources in Pacific Region Media

Insights on Bias in U.S. Media

Our Narrative Intelligence provides valuable insights into the bias present in U.S. media. In our Kudzu Narrative Intelligence Briefs, we have analyzed media coverage across various political leanings.

The analysis reveals significant numerical differences in media coverage.  Right-center and least bias sources dominate the landscape, while left-center, right, and left bias sources have much lower representation.

Right-center bias: 69%

Least bias sources: 69%

Left-center bias sources: 50%

Right bias sources: 20%

Left bias sources: 9%


Qin Gang Missing amplification distribution by bias

U.S. Media

Note: Kudzu Narrative Intelligence briefs update every few hours. Very likely, the Narrative Analysis data visualization depicted in the graphic above will have changed as well.

Image Credit for Article Header: Office of Indonesian Foreign Minister, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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