China’s ousted foreign minister fathered a child with his television-presenter mistress using a surrogate mother in the US, according to reports.
Qin Gang, 57, was axed from the high-profile role with no explanation in July, one month after he disappeared from public view and just seven months into the job.
Mr Qin had reportedly been having an affair with TV presenter Fu Xiaotian, 40, who last year had a child via a surrogate in the US, several sources told the Financial Times.
Surrogacy is banned in China.
Cambridge-educated Ms Fu also disappeared from public life this year. She stopped posting updates on social media in April, has not been responding to messages since June and her phone has been disconnected, insiders said.
Authorities in Beijing are understood to be investigating the relationship between the pair.
While the children of foreign diplomats born in the US are not eligible for citizenship under the 14th Amendment, this may not apply to those born using a US surrogate. It could be hugely embarrassing for Beijing if a former Chinese foreign minister’s son is a citizen of one of the country’s biggest rivals.
President Xi Jinping believes the personal lives of his senior staff “are an important reflection of senior officials’ work performance”.
Senior Chinese officials were told Mr Qin had an extramarital affair while stationed in Washington, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.
They were told the reason for his dismissal was “lifestyle issues” and that he had engaged in an extramarital affair that led to the birth of a child in the US.
A once trusted aide to the Chinese president, Mr Qin moved to Washington with his wife Lin Yan when he was appointed ambassador in 2021. He was promoted to foreign minister in January 2023.
China’s foreign ministry website describes Mr Qin as “married with a son”. The foreign ministry removed all mentions of Mr Qin on its website in July, before restoring them a few days later.
Ms Fu appeared to drop hints about their relationship online.
In March, she told her followers on social media platform Weibo that the father of the baby was not American. Around Mr Qin’s birthday, she wished the unnamed father a happy birthday.
Ms Fu posted her final social media comments on April 10 after she boarded a private jet in Los Angeles bound for Beijing with her son Er-Kin.
She said the last time she had flown on the jet was to visit Washington for an interview for Mr Qin.
The Telegraph contacted the Chinese Embassy and Phoenix TV for comment.