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General Li Shangfu, Defense Minister of China Under Investigation on the Allegations of Corruption in the Purchase of Military Weaponry

General Li Shangfu, who was just recently appointed in the middle of March, has not been spotted in public for around two weeks. (Source: The Telegraph)

General Li Shangfu, China’s Minister of Defense, has not been spotted in public for almost two weeks now. In The New York Times, it is stated that the US government has confirmed that Li is under investigation.

Li Shangfu, the Minister of Defense for China, was last seen giving a lecture at the China-Africa Peace and Security Forum about three weeks ago. Since then, Li Shangfu has not been seen. (Source: The Guardian/Vincent Thian/AP)

Alleged Accusation of Corruption on the Procurement of Military Weaponry

General Li Shangfu is said to have improperly acquired military weapons, according to the claims. According to US officials quoted in The Wall Street Journal, China’s defense minister Li Shangfu was taken away by authorities last week for interrogation and is reportedly the subject of an investigation and likely fired.

Defense Minister Li Shangfu is suspected of corruption in the purchase of military hardware, according to sources close to the Chinese military. Eight more government employees from the military procurement division, which General Li oversaw from 2017 to 2022, are reportedly under investigation, according to two sources. Li is the most recent high-ranking Chinese official to disappear mysteriously; he hasn’t been seen in public for more than two weeks.

The New York Times claims that in June, foreign minister Qin Gang vanished from view for a full month. In July, Wang Yi replaced him. Xi Jinping, the president of China, replaced two of his most senior military leaders in charge of the nation’s nuclear weapons just two months before this. A US official claimed that General Li’s ouster exposed weaknesses in Xi’s long-term efforts to upgrade the People’s Liberation Army of China.

READ ALSO: Biden Administration Encourages Visiting China

General Li has not been Seen Publicly in Two Weeks

According to the official, some of the PLA’s current challenges might be too great for Xi to surmount, substantially restricting the PLA’s ability to carry out his instructions. According to the author, corruption in the PLA is pervasive enough to be of concern and has had a significant impact on both what they are able to accomplish and how they do it. Su Tzu-Yun, a Chinese military specialist at the Taiwan-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research, asserted that Xi Jinping, who chose General Li for the position in March, suffered a loss of face as a result of the inquiry. Although it won’t push him out of office, Su claimed that it will harm his leadership reputation.

According to Reuters, General Li, a 65-year-old, canceled a meeting in Vietnam last week and hasn’t been seen in public in roughly three weeks. Rahm Emanuel, the US ambassador to Japan, wrote on X, now known as Twitter, asking whether Li had been “placed under house arrest.”

READ ALSO: China Stand Alert as US and Canadian Ships are in Transit at the Taiwan Strait

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