A decree on the resignation of Chinese Defense Minister Li Shanfu was signed by Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping, China Central Television reported on October 24.
“Li Shanfu has been removed from the post of defense minister and member of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China,” the TV station reported.
The withdrawal of the Chief of Defense from his post was approved by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (China’s parliament). Its session was held in Beijing on October 20-24.
The media had previously reported, citing their sources, about the minister’s resignation and the investigation launched against him. South China Morning Post notes that before this resignation for several weeks, rumors were circulating that Li Shangfu would end up like former Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who was removed from office on July 25, and before that he did not appear in public for a long time.
It should be noted that the Minister of Defense also did not appear in public for quite a long time. Thus, he was last seen in public on August 29 at the 3rd China-Africa Forum on Peace and Security in Beijing. After that, on October 1, he was not present at the reception in honor of China’s Education Day (the main national holiday).
The Financial Times previously claimed that the general may have already been sidelined and his activities are being investigated. The Wall Street Journal also reported on the ongoing corruption investigation against the defense minister and his possible resignation.
Reuters sources reported that the investigation is related to violations in the purchase of military equipment, and eight other subordinates are also involved in the case, in addition to Li Shanfu himself.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency