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Chinese Defense Minister Li Changfu “disappeared” – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

Chinese Defense Minister Li Changfu “disappeared” – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

Since late August, no one has seen Chinese Defense Minister Li Changfu. He then spoke at a security conference with African leaders in Beijing.

He wrote that he was supposed to meet last week with Vietnamese defense officials, but he did not show up Reuters.

And so speculation swirls about what happened to Li. No one knows, but many theories have been put forward.

– China is not a transparent society. It is difficult to deal with a country that is not transparent, so there is a lot of guesswork, says China expert Torbjörn Verovik.

Suspected of corruption

According to Reuters, the Minister of Defense is under investigation on charges of corruption related to the purchase of military equipment

Eight other people from the Chinese military’s procurement department are also said to be under investigation. Lee led the department from 2017 to 2022.

The Chinese authorities did not comment on this information or write The Economist. A State Department spokeswoman said she was not aware of the case.

Qin Gang was sworn in as Foreign Minister on March 12 this year. After a little more than four months, he was fired from his job.

Photo: AP

The Foreign Minister disappeared

Li Changfu’s case comes less than two months after a similar case involving Foreign Minister Chen Gang.

He disappeared from sight at the end of June. This led to rumors of a scandal involving an alleged mistress.

After several weeks of speculation, it became clear that Chen had been removed from his position and replaced by his predecessor.

Since he lost his job, he has not been seen in public.

New at work

In addition to Li and Chen, four senior generals in the Chinese army have been dismissed in the past two months.

According to The Economist, all the generals are as high-level as Chinese President and strongman Xi Jinping. You must have agreed to remove them.

Defense Minister Li Changfu and Foreign Minister Qin Gang were new to the post when they were dismissed.

Lee was appointed in March this year, while Chen has had just over six months on the job. One of the deposed generals only remained in office for a few months.

Judgment questions

Xi Jinping

Now, China’s strongman, Xi Jinping, is serving his third five-year term as president.

Photo: Reuters

The fact that so many senior officials have had to resign raises questions about Xi Jinping’s judgment or his ability to vet those he appoints to senior positions, The Economist wrote.

China expert Verovic agrees and says Xi was ultimately responsible for appointing them.

-It’s a sign of weakness. Verovic believes this is a sign that Xi has done a poor job according to his own specifications and requirements.

Loss of face

The disappearances at the top of China’s power hierarchy come on top of other political problems facing Xi.

Earlier this year, figures emerged showing that more than 20% of Chinese youth between the ages of 16 and 24 are unemployed.

The country has since announced that it will no longer publish figures on youth unemployment.

Færøvik says what is happening now is Xi losing face.

– This is in addition to all the other losses of face he has suffered recently in the form of a failing economy, more and more adversity abroad and not least the end of the pandemic, he says.

According to Verovic, Xi has always tried to appear infallible.

– In good times when the economy is doing well, everyone has rice in the pot, and everyone has a job. This strategy is pretty straightforward. The moment things start going wrong and he’s still trying to seem infallible, that’s when everything starts to fall apart. He says he is therefore in a very vulnerable position now.

“So there was no one there.”

Verovic points out that of the many cases in which high-level managers were fired, we have never discovered more of them.

– He says: “Everyone’s mouths are closed, and thus ambiguity arises and speculation abounds.”

Rahm Emanuel, who was President Obama’s chief of staff and now serves as US ambassador to Japan, has his own perception of what’s happening in China.

on x/twitter He compares the Chinese government to Agatha Christie’s famous crime novel “And So There Were None.”

As is well known, the entire gallery of the dead was gone.

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