June 15, 2024

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Li Changfu was sacked as Defense Minister in China's second leadership shock

Li Changfu was sacked as Defense Minister in China’s second leadership shock

China removed the general Li Changfu As Minister of Defense in the second change in the country’s leadership within three months.

China Central Broadcasting Corporation (CCTV) reported on Tuesday that Li had been dismissed without explanation. This came after weeks of speculation about the fate of the general, who is under US sanctions, and has not appeared in public since the end of August. The decision to dismiss him was approved by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Li is the second minister to be abruptly sacked since Xi Jinping began his unprecedented third term as party leader last October. Chen Gang He was replaced as Foreign Minister in July by his predecessor, Wang Yi, after a similar unexplained withdrawal from public engagements. The reason for Chen’s dismissal is still unknown.

Li and Chen were also removed from their posts of state advisers on Tuesday, a senior position in the Cabinet with a higher rank than ordinary ministers.

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Big political questions remain after China suddenly changed its foreign minister

Big political questions remain after China suddenly changed its foreign minister

The announcement came a few days before A Pentagon delegation He is scheduled to arrive in Beijing to attend a regional security forum, paving the way for a long-stalled high-level military dialogue between the two sides.

Unlike their counterparts in the West, Chinese foreign and defense ministers are primarily policy enforcers, not senior decision-makers.

Lee, 65, is also the public face of People’s Liberation ArmyAnd a member of the Central Military Commission – the ruling body of the People’s Liberation Army. Within the CMC, Li ranks behind only its president Xi Jinping and vice presidents Zhang Yuxia and He Weidong.

China’s defense minister made a strong debut for Shangri-La, but one meeting slipped away

It is not clear whether Li’s fall is a harbinger of further change in the military establishment, which is undergoing the most dramatic modernization process in Chinese history. Xi has set a goal for the People’s Liberation Army to become the world’s leading fighting force by 2049, which means reaching parity with the United States.

No replacement for Li has been announced.

More is coming …

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