Chinese Defense Minister Li Changfu, who has not been seen in public since late August, has been relieved of his duties. China Central Broadcasting Corporation (CCTV) reported this on Tuesday. Former Foreign Minister Qin Gang may also have access.
Former Minister Chen, who was considered a close confidant of President Xi Jinping, was removed from his post in July after being absent for a month. He still holds the top title of State Councilor and was a member of the government in that role. The reason for his expulsion has not been revealed now.
After Chen’s disappearance in June, there was speculation about an affair with journalist Fu Xiaotian.
Lee became Defense Minister in March. CCTV did not mention the reason for his dismissal now, both as a minister and as a member of the government. It is also unclear who his successor will be.
Li was last seen in public on August 29, during a speech at the China-Africa Peace Forum. About two weeks ago, he traveled to Russia and Belarus.
Western media wrote, citing US intelligence services, that an investigation was underway against Lee. Last summer, the party intervened in the army, and a number of senior military officials were replaced after their names were mentioned in corruption cases.
The disappearance of high-ranking officials, celebrities and businessmen is common in China. They are usually found to be involved in investigations or other controversial matters.
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