NewsChina's missile forces: Corruption taints readiness, sparks military purge by Xi Jinping

China's missile forces: Corruption taints readiness, sparks military purge by Xi Jinping

Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping
Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping
Images source: © Getty Images | 2018 Getty Images

1:33 PM EST, January 7, 2024

According to sources from Bloomberg agency, the extent of corruption in the Chinese missile forces has led U.S. officials to question the likelihood of China initiating any severe military action shortly.

Issues in the Chinese military

U.S. intelligence has provided several examples of the results of this corruption. These include instances of missiles filled with water instead of fuel and extensive missile silo fields in Western China that have covers not functioning correctly for an effective missile launch.

"After discovering the widespread corruption undermining his efforts to modernize the armed forces and casting doubts over China's ability to wage war, Xi initiated a broad military purge," Bloomberg reports.

Agency informants report that the United States believes that corruption within the People's Liberation Army has affected trust in their overall capabilities, particularly concerning missile forces, and it has also hindered some of Xi's essential priorities.

Nevertheless, U.S. analysts think the public's perception of Xi has not been adversely affected by the increasing purges. On the contrary, experts maintain that his actions, directed at removing high-ranking individuals—including several promoted during his rule—demonstrate his continuing substantial control over the Communist Party.

As part of the most recent round of purges, which occurred on December 29th last year, nine representatives from China's defense sector—five connected with missile forces and at least two from the Equipment Development Department responsible for arming the army—had their mandates rescinded by China's highest legislative body.

A few days earlier, China's leading political advisory body publicly removed three directors of state-owned missile manufacturers from their roles. This followed the October dismissal of China's former defense minister, Li Shangfu, who had held the position for seven months.

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