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After China’s Foreign Minister, now Defense Minister Li Shangfu goes missing: Reports


Defense Minister Li Shangfu
Image Source : AP/FILE Defense Minister Li Shangfu

It seems all is not well with the Chinese government led by President Xi Jinping. There were reports of ministers and top military officials going missing mysteriously. The latest entry into the list is Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu. According to US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, the Chinese Defence Minister was not seen for a long time. 

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), the ambassador posted, “President Xi’s cabinet lineup is now resembling Agatha Christie’s novel And Then There Were None. First, Foreign Minister Qin Gang goes missing, then the Rocket Force commanders go missing, and now Defense Minister Li Shangfu hasn’t been seen in public for two weeks. Who’s going to win this unemployment race? China’s youth or Xi’s cabinet? #MysteryInBeijingBuilding.”

The missing reports about Shangfu come days after the absence of Foreign Minister Qin Gang. 

In recent times, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been taking a tough stance on his military officers. Jinping, who has been reprimanded by senior leaders of his own party, has been continuously making changes in the military hierarchy. 

Earlier, the Chinese Foreign Minister had gone missing and was later removed from the post. After the disappearance of China’s Foreign Minister, now the Defense Minister and a General of China’s powerful rocket force -Li Yuchao- had also gone missing. 

According to reports, Shangfu was last seen on August 29, 2023. He addressed the China-Africa Peace and Security Forum. Before this meeting, the Chinese Defense Minister had visited Russia to participate in a security conference. During the meeting with Russian leaders, Shangfu had targeted America for ‘using Taiwan to corner China’.

He was appointed Defense Minister in March 2023. In the month of July, Xi Jinping removed his Foreign Minister Qin Gang. After removing Qin Gang, Xi Jinping also dismissed Rocket Force General Li Yuchao and General Liu Guangbin.

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