China expels 9 military officials from Parliament

China has expelled nine military officials of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), including senior officials of the country’s Rocket Force, from its Parliament.

Those dismissed from the National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s Parliament, include five past or current top commanders of the PLA Rocket Force, which handles the missiles division and a key component of the country’s nuclear arsenal.

Besides it also included a former Air Force commander.

The report carried the announcement of the Standing Committee of the NPC but did not attribute any reason for their disqualification.

Notably, these generals are part of a substantial number of members of the Chinese military who formed part of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and are appointed to the NPC.

Their dismissals come days after the NPC appointed former naval commander General Dong Jun as the new Defence Minister, two months after the summary dismissal of General Li Shangfu without any explanation.

Those whose membership was terminated from the NPC included Zhang Zhenzhong, Zhang Yulin, Rao Wenmin, Ju Xinchun, Ding Laihang, Lu Hong, Li Yuchao, Li Chuanguang and Zhou Yaning, according to the NPC announcement.

Worth mentioing that their removal is one of a series of high-level restructuring moves in the military establishment since defence minister Li Shangfu was abruptly sacked in October following months of speculation about his whereabouts.

Appointed in March, Li disappeared from public view in August before being formally dismissed in October.

Recent months have also seen an overhaul in the leadership of China’s secretive Rocket Force, the army unit that oversees Beijing’s nuclear arsenal, following media reports of a corruption probe involving its former chief.

Notably, the nine officials fired on Friday from the National People’s Congress sat in parliament as non-elected representatives.