name :Li Changfu
age : 65 years
job : Chinese Minister of Defense
Distinctive signs : Invisible Man
Why are we talking about that?
The Defense Minister has not appeared in public since August 29, sparking all kinds of rumors in the international media. He is reportedly under investigation and has been relieved of his duties, US officials believe, according to information published last week in The Washington Post. Financial Times.
One among others
This “disappearance” in the upper echelons of Chinese power is not an isolated case. In July, Foreign Minister Chen Gang was also sacked after temporarily disappearing from the radar, allegedly due to “health problems”. At the same time, the dismissal of two officers from the military unit responsible for the missiles was announced. “Formation of President Xi’s government [Jinping] Now it looks like an Agatha Christie novel There were ten of them », joked the US ambassador to Tokyo, Rahm Emanuel, at the beginning of last September, on the social media network X, in reference to the successive elimination of the champions.
What does China say?
China has not yet confirmed whether any of the men are under investigation, and refuses to answer any questions on the matter. “I have no knowledge of the situation you mentioned,” Mao Ning, a spokesman for Chinese diplomacy, said when asked Tuesday about the newspaper article. Wall Street Journal Explanation of Chen Gang’s dismissal.
The absence of official explanations opens the door to all kinds of speculation about the reasons for these evictions. Betrayals? Political differences? Rival factions? according to Wall Street JournalChen Gang was reportedly fired over an ethics issue. Li Shangfu’s disappearance will be linked to irregularities within the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the military extension of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), where corruption will be a recurring problem, especially in the areas of promotion and contract awarding.
Cleansing or fighting corruption?
Fighting corruption has been a priority for the Chinese regime since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012. “We are talking about a million investigations,” sums up Serge Granger, a professor at the School of Applied Politics at the University of Sherbrooke. Some welcome these efforts to clean up Chinese politics. Others see it as a way to marginalize political rivals.
Li Shangfu and Qin Gang were Xi Jinping’s protégés. It was the president himself who appointed them to these positions. According to Serge Granger, their departure may be the result of a rebellion within the Chinese Communist Party, in light of the upcoming elections in four years.
“We can assume that there is likely to be a war for influence within the party. In my opinion, they are working together,” Mr. Granger sums up. “Is this a warning sign that we are preparing for the departure of Xi Jinping? If we see his appointments dropped, his influence in the party may have been undermined.” It’s starting to fade away. I think Xi Jinping’s third term has been difficult to accept for some members of the Chinese Communist Party. Most notably the Youth League clique that is demanding a rotation system. It’s a warning because he’s trying to control the party and is appointing his own followers everywhere. It took up a lot of space. “He’s leading the way. But we have a lot of criticism to make of him. Maybe this is a way to make him understand that there are limits to absolute power, without attacking him directly.”
With Fox, AFP, WatchmanFrance 24, Reuters, Financial Times, The new statesman, the point