China removes Defence Minister Li Shangfu without explanation

China has removed its defence minister Li Shangfu from his ministerial position and as state councilor, two months after he disappeared from public view.

He was last seen in public on August 29, 2023.

Besides sacking General Li, China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress, also voted to remove former foreign minister Qin Gang from his position as state councilor.

Notably, President Xi Jinping signed a presidential decree Tuesday to remove Li Shangfu as China’s State Councilor and Minister of National Defence, and to remove Qin Gang as State Councilor.

Further, Li was also removed as a member of Central Military Commission on Tuesday.

As of now, the Chinese government is yet to name Li’s successor; while the foreign minister Qin Gang has been replaced by Wang Yi in July.

Worth mentioning that no explanation has been given by the Chinese Government as to why Li has been removed from his post; neither has Beijing offered any explanation why Qin was sacked as foreign minister in July.

Li Shangfu, an aerospace engineer by training, was appointed as defence minister in March during the annual session of the NPC.