China's Defense Minister has been Fired

World | October 24, 2023, Tuesday // 15:13
Bulgaria: China's Defense Minister has been Fired Li Shangfu @Wikimedia Commons

China's defense minister has been removed from office after weeks of speculation that he would face the same fate as former foreign minister Qin Gang.

Li Shangfu has been sent to resign, the official Xinhua news agency reported, without giving reasons for this decision, the South China Morning Post wrote.

General Shangfu has been sanctioned by the US and in mid-September the Financial Times claimed, citing its sources, that he was under investigation by US intelligence and had been removed from office. He has not appeared in public since late August.

After Qin Gang was removed in late July and replaced without explanation by his predecessor, Wang Yi, this is the second such high and important post in Beijing in the past three months. The decision was approved by the Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Congress.

Xinhua's announcement comes just days before a Pentagon delegation arrives in Beijing to participate in a regional security forum with hopes of reviving stalled dialogue between the militaries of the two countries.

Unlike their counterparts in the West, China's defense and foreign ministers are key decision-makers but are not among Beijing's highest-ranking decision-makers, the South China Morning Post explained. But they are members of the State Council (the government), and Li Shangfu - of the Central Military Commission (governing the Chinese People's Army), where he is third after the chairman - President Xi Jinping and Vice Presidents He Weidong and Zhang Youxia.

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Tags: China, defense, minister, Shangfu

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