From our correspondent
Beijing – A month and a half after his disappearance, the Chinese authority announced that he was the Minister of Defense Li Changfu It has been removed. There is no explanation in Xinhua’s statement regarding the decision taken by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China. General Li Changfu was last seen in public on August 29, at a forum on peace and security. Security in Beijing. Then nothing more. Exit from the scene without explanation, as happened in June for Chen Gang, the foreign minister who ended up in a black hole in June and then removed in July with a single line from a press release. Today’s memorandum also unites the two: both have been stripped of the rank of State Counsellor.
In mid-September, US intelligence revealed that General Lee was finished Under investigation for corruption He was placed under arrest. Beijing continued to remain silent. How was he silent about the reasons for the dismissal of the Foreign Minister who, according to rumors circulating on social media, was guilty of having an extramarital affair with a journalist?
General Lee, 65 years old, arrived at the Defense Summit last March. A choice that was interpreted as a challenge to the United States, because Li Changfu had been that way since 2018 On Washington’s blacklistShe was subjected to official sanctions that prevented her from entering American territory. The reason for the American ban is that when he headed the “Equipment Purchase and Development Department” inPeople’s Liberation ArmyLee had negotiated with Moscow to purchase Su-35 warplanes and S-400 missiles.
After his promotion to the position of minister, the general refused any contact with America’s opponents, despite numerous requests for a meeting from the head of the Pentagon. Lloyd Austin.
It has been a summer full of poison and uncertainty in Beijing. In addition to the two ministers who were dismissed after being promoted at the beginning of the year only, two generals fell. Li Yuchao and Liu Guangbin, Commander and Deputy Commander of the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Forces. For these two officials the reason was made public: corruption.
It is possible that the Minister of Defense also ended up in disgrace for embezzlement: the Military Supply Administration was subject to an investigation that began a few months ago and Defense bizarrely informed that the investigations would go back in time, to 2017, just as Li Shangfu took charge of purchasing and acquiring materials for the armed forces. The disavowal of two new ministers raises doubts about the system for selecting Chinese ministers: How is it possible that in a closed and cruel regime like Beijing’s, no one had investigated their past behavior before?
“Xi’s government remembers,” Rahm Emanuel, the US ambassador to Tokyo, wrote on X (formerly Twitter). The Ten Little Indians from Agatha Christie’s novel “In the end there was no one left”: first the Foreign Minister, then the two missile generals, and now the Defense Minister…”
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