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China’s Defense Minister, General Li Shangfu, Under Investigation Amid Corruption Accusations and Unexplained Absence

General Li Shangfu, China's Defense Minister, is the subject of an investigation and accusations of corruption, all while he remains out of the public eye. This situation is prompting inquiries into the effectiveness of President Xi Jinping's military reform initiatives.(Photo: yahoo! life)

China’s Defense Minister, General Li Shangfu, Faces Investigation and Mysterious Disappearance


China’s Defense Minister, General Li Shangfu, faces investigation and corruption allegations while remaining absent from public view, raising questions about President Xi Jinping’s military reform efforts (Photo: Bloomberg)

China’s Defense Minister Under Investigation and Mysterious Disappearance

According to yahoo news, China’s Defense Minister, General Li Shangfu, has mysteriously disappeared from public view for over two weeks, sparking concerns and speculation. According to reports from US officials, China’s Defense Minister Li is currently under investigation for alleged corruption related to military equipment procurement.

The investigation has led to his likely removal from his position, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. This development has also extended to involve eight officials from the government’s military procurement unit, which China’s Defense Minister Li had led from 2017 to 2022. General Li’s vanishing act is part of a broader pattern of high-ranking Chinese officials experiencing unexplained disappearances.

Notably, Foreign Minister Qin Gang disappeared from public view for a month in June, leading to his replacement by Wang Yi in July. Additionally, two months prior to China’s Defense Minister General Li’s situation, China’s President Xi Jinping had replaced two of his top military commanders responsible for the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

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Challenges for President Xi and Speculation Surrounding China’s Defense Minister

US officials have suggested that China’s Defense Minister, General Li’s dismissal highlights underlying issues with President Xi’s long-standing campaign to reform the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Corruption within the PLA is considered a significant factor affecting its performance and effectiveness, potentially hindering Xi’s objectives for the military. Experts, such as Su Tzu-yun from the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, have noted that this investigation could result in a “loss of face” for President Xi, who had appointed China’s Defense Minister, General Li, to his position in March.

While it may not directly threaten Xi’s hold on power, it could undermine his prestige as a leader. China’s Defense Minister, General Li Shangfu, aged 65, has not made any public appearances for nearly three weeks and even canceled a scheduled meeting in Vietnam. This has prompted speculation and concerns, with some, like US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, suggesting the possibility of China’s Defense Minister Li being placed under house arrest via social media platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter).

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