Report: US Believes Chinese Defense Minister Under Investigation

    Report: US Believes Chinese Defense Minister Under Investigation
    Last updated Sep 16, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • 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.
    • Shangfu, who missed a Sept. 7-8 meeting with Vietnamese defense officials due to "health reasons," remained absent from a significant military meeting on Sept. 15.
    • Meanwhile, Li Yuchao, chief of the People's Liberation Army's rocket force unit, and his deputy, Liu Guangbin, have been missing from public view for months.
    • The PRC's former foreign minister Qin Gang also disappeared from public view for a month before he was removed from his position in July.
    • Before becoming the PRC's defense minister in March, Shangfu was the deputy commander of China's Strategic Support Force in 2016 and the head of the military's procurement unit in 2017.


    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



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