Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang. (Kyodo)

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has been out of public view for about three weeks due to an extramarital affair with a Chinese television journalist well-known across the country, Taiwanese media reported Saturday.

Photos and videos of Qin and the female reporter, who works for Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV, have recently circulated on Twitter. The ruling Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has reportedly asked the minister about the matter.

Qin, 57, skipped Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings in Indonesia earlier this week for "health reasons," according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. A newspaper in Hong Kong reported last Monday that he had contracted COVID-19.

According to the ministry, the foreign minister's last public appearance was on June 25. The former Chinese ambassador to the United States assumed the ministerial post last December, succeeding the country's top diplomat Wang Yi, who attended the ASEAN-related gatherings instead of Qin.