Speculation on Qin Gang remained rampant on Wednesday, a day after he was removed as foreign minister just seven months into the job.
No reason was given for Mr Qin’s removal, which was announced after an emergency meeting on Tuesday.
His predecessor Wang Yi has been reappointed to the post.
Official silence over his mystery disappearance to date had sparked speculation both in China and abroad.
Social media on Wednesday was full of searches and speculation over his abrupt dismissal.