Report: US Believes Chinese Defense Minister Under Investigation

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The Facts

  • According to a report by The Financial Times, the US government believes that Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu, who hasn't been publicly seen for over two weeks, has been placed under investigation for corrupt procurement of military equipment.

  • Shangfu was last seen on Aug. 29 at a security forum in Beijing. On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the defense minister had been stripped of his responsibilities.

The Spin

Anti-China narrative

While the details of Xi Jinping's ability to make senior members of China's elite disappear are difficult to verify, the Chinese president's grip on power can neither be underestimated nor ignored. At a time when the PRC is in dire need of economic stability, Jinping continues to engage in unexplained personnel changes. It's clear that the CCP continues to act behind a veil of mystery.

Pro-China narrative

External powers shouldn't waste time reading tea leaves. Li Shangfu is a widely respected diplomat, and any wild speculation about his status is simply unfounded. Premature reports of his so-called fall from grace are being greatly exaggerated. Despite a thirst for cloak-and-dagger stories of diplomatic intrigue by the West, it's simply business as usual in China.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that Xi Jinping will leave power by May 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



More neutral establishment stance articles

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