Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu Absence: These days, everything is not going well in the neighboring country China. There is turmoil going on in the political circles amid skyrocketing unemployment rate and fears of economic crisis. After the disappearance of Foreign Minister Qin Gang, now China’s Defense Minister Li Shangfu has been missing for the last two weeks. A top American diplomat has questioned the absence of China’s Defense Minister. Due to this, speculations have intensified about the removal of the Defense Minister from the post amid possible corruption in China.
Was seen in public two weeks ago
General Lee has neither been seen in public for nearly two weeks nor has he reportedly attended the meetings of his ministries. He was last seen on 29 August. U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emmanuel speculated on Li’s absence, tweeting that the Chinese government has a “very high unemployment rate.” Lee’s sudden disappearance follows the recent dismissal of several top military officials.
discussion of removal from office
On the other hand, citing sources in America and China, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Li has been removed from his post. In a post on X, Rahm Emmanuel wrote that the first Foreign Minister Qin Gang has gone missing. After this, Rocket Force Commander and now Defense Minister Li Shangfu has been missing for two weeks. Who wants to win this unemployment race? China’s youth or Jinping cabinet?
Claim of being dragged out of the meeting
According to the BBC report, news agency Reuters, quoting Vietnamese officials, said that before his disappearance, Chinese Defense Minister Li was forcibly dragged out of a meeting while he was meeting with Vietnamese Defense Ministry leaders. However, the Vietnamese leader was then told that Lee was forcibly removed from the meeting due to health reasons.
It has now been three months since Foreign Minister Qin went missing. His absence was also linked to health reasons. Meanwhile, in media reports, it is being linked to widespread corruption in China and action to eradicate it. It is believed that Defense Minister Lee has been removed from the post due to corruption in the Defense Department.
Lee’s old association with controversies
Let us tell you that General Lee has a long association with controversies. In 2018, when he took over the Army’s Equipment Purchase Wing, he procured Russian fighter aircraft and weapons. Angered by this, America had imposed sanctions on Lee. General Lee was considering these restrictions as an obstacle. For this reason, Lee refused to meet his American counterpart Lloyd Austin at the Singapore Defense Summit earlier this year.
Corruption dents Xi Jinping’s credibility
Observers say General Li’s disappearance once again reflects the ambiguity of Chinese political leadership. It also underlines the instability of some decisions of President Xi Jinping. “The disappearance of high-ranking people and possible corruption investigations are not good news for Xi Jinping because he appointed these ministers,” said Neil Thomas, an expert on China politics at the Asia Society Policy Institute.
Let us tell you that like Foreign Minister Qin, Defense Minister Li is also considered close to President Xi Jinping. Lee is an aerospace engineer who started his career at a satellite and rocket launch center. After this, General Li has achieved this position through the Chinese army and political corridors of China.