China ousts 'missing' Li Shangfu as defence minister

Li was last seen in public on August 29

China-defence-minister-Li-Shangfu-ap (File) Newly elected Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Li Shangfu takes his oath during a session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

China removed its defence minister, General Li Shangfu, who has been 'missing' for the past two months on Tuesday. According to Chinese state media, the decision was announced without citing any explanation.

This is the second ousting of a senior leader in three months. Foreign minister Qin Gang, who again disappeared, was removed in July. Qin was also stripped of his state councillor position as well.

As China prepares to host its foreign defence officials meet at the Beijing Xinangshan Forum next week, the nation is left without a defence minister.

So far no replacement name was announced.

Li, 65, was seen last in public on August 29. Reportedly, he was being investigated for alleged corruption related to defence equipment procurement.

When Xi came to helm for the third term as head of state, Li was appointed as the defence minister. Li is said to be the shortest-serving defence minister in China.

Before disappearing from the public view, Qin, had also served less than a year. Wang Yi had replaced him as the foreign minister.

Questions were raised following the disappearances of Qin and Li in China's leadership. Reports said that both the leaders were hand picked by Xi Jinping to his government. 


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