China removes 'missing' defence minister from office
General Li Shangfu has not been seen in public for almost two months. He is the second senior Chinese leader removed from office this year.
Chinese defence minister General Li Shangfu was removed from office, state media reported on Tuesday, 24 October.
No reason was given for Li's removal and no replacement was announced.
Li has not appeared in public since 29 August, when he gave a speech at a Chinese–African peace forum.
He is the second senior leader to be ousted in this way. Foreign minister Qin Gang was also abruptly removed from office without explanation in July.
According to state broadcaster CCTV, both were also stripped of their positions as state councillors.
Li reportedly investigated for corruption
Li, 65, had only been in the job since March 2023.
The Reuters news agency reported last month that he was being investigated for suspected corruption related to equipment procurement and development.
Chinese politics experts say President Xi Jinping handpicked both Li and Qin. This makes their removal less than a year on the job particularly notable and raises questions about the stability of the leadership team around Xi.