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Top officers purged, more in offing, in unprecedented corruption probe of China’s defence establishment

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(, Sep12’23) – As questions swirl on public no-show of China’s defence minister Li Shangfu over the last two weeks, at least four high-ranking officials from the country’s military enterprises have been detained by the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, reported Sep 12, citing Jennifer Zeng, Member of International Press Association.

Citing former Chinese journalist Zhao Lanjian, Zeng has detailed the four as:

1. Liu Shiqua, Chairman of China North Industries Group Corporation;
2. Yuan Jie, Chairman of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation;
3. Chen Guoying, General Manager of China North Industries Group Corporation;
4. Tan Ruisong, Former CCP Secretary and Chairman of Aviation Industry Corporation of China. He was dismissed from his position in March 2023.

She has said more individuals related to this matter are expected to be implicated as the corruption probe intensifies.

The report cited Zhao Lanjian as having tweeted in Chinese, “It is rare for the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection to control key personnel of national defence, military industry, aerospace, weapons and other military enterprises on a large scale. As mentioned above, every chairman and general manager above and below will be implicated in nepotism. There may be an extremely cruel purge of military enterprises.”

Speculations about what is going on in China in light of recent disappearances of top Chinese leaders and officials have been heightened after comments from Rahm Emanuel, the US Ambassador in Japan, the report noted.

Emanuel had said in a September 8 post on X (formerly Twitter), “President Xi’s cabinet lineup is now resembling Agatha Christie’s novel And Then There Were None. First, Foreign Minister Qin Gang goes missing, then the Rocket Force commanders go missing, and now Defense Minister Li Shangfu hasn’t been seen in public for two weeks. Who’s going to win this unemployment race? China’s youth or Xi’s cabinet?  #MysteryInBeijingBuilding”

On Sep 8, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke about maintaining a “high level of integrity and unity of the armed forces, and ensuring the military stays stable and secure” during a visit to a military group in northern China, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Sep 10.


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