China has officially dismissed its Defense Minister Li Shangfu. The head of the Ministry of Defense disappeared from public life two months ago. No explanation was given for his removal and no successor was announced.
The Minister of Defense of the People’s Republic of China, General Li Shangfu, was dismissed from his position by the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the government television CCTV reported. The reasons for the resignation were not given, nor was it revealed who the new minister would be. Li was last seen in public on August 29.
Content of the statement of the Parliament’s Standing Committee China reads: “In accordance with the decision of the 6th meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on October 24, 2023: Li Shangfu was removed from the positions of State Councilor and Minister of National Defense.”
The mysterious disappearance of the minister
Li was appointed to the Central Military Commission in October 2022, and on March 12 this year. became Minister of Defense. In 2018, the Department of State USA added Li to the list of Chinese officials sanctioned over the People’s Republic of China’s arms deals with Russia.
General Li was last seen in public on August 29, when he addressed the China-Africa Peace and Security Forum. On the website of the Ministry of Defense, the last information related to the minister’s activity is also dated August 29.
Seven months passed between taking office and resigning, making Li the shortest-serving defense minister of the People’s Republic of China.
Resignation of the head of the Ministry of Diplomacy
Li is also the second Chinese minister this year to disappear from public life without public explanation.
At the end of July, the resignation of Foreign Minister Qin Gang caused a stir, after the head of the ministry had not been seen in public since June 25, and Foreign Ministry spokesmen for a month answered questions about his absence, stating that it was due to “health reasons”. So far, no reasons have been given for the minister’s dismissal or what is happening to him.
In turn, at the beginning of August, in a short statement, the state Xinhua news agency announced the dismissal of Generals Li Yuchao and Liu Guangbin, commanders of the elite Missile Forces Division, which is also responsible for nuclear warheads. The whereabouts of Li, his deputy Liu and the former defense minister are unknown.
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