NewsChina's shake-up: Top ministers removed, details shrouded in secrecy

China's shake-up: Top ministers removed, details shrouded in secrecy

Leader of China Xi Jinping
Leader of China Xi Jinping
Images source: © Getty Images | Photonews

8:41 AM EST, February 28, 2024

Qin Gang's departure from his role as foreign minister in July 2023, marked one of the most unexpected political developments in China in recent years.

At the age of 57, Qin served in this capacity for only seven months before disappearing from public attention in June. His dismissal was shortly reported by Chinese state media a month later, with no reasons provided by the authorities. He has remained out of the public eye since.

Former Chinese Ministers "Disappeared off the Face of the Earth"

Wang Yi succeeded Qin as the head of the diplomatic department.
"The resignation of Qin Gang (from the National People's Congress) was accepted," the official Xinhua news agency announced tersely on Tuesday. This statement was released in anticipation of next week's annual session of the Chinese parliament in Beijing, which draws about 3,000 deputies.
The removal of Li Shangfu from the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the CPC, nor the timing of such a decision, has not been officially announced by Beijing, as pointed out by the "South China Morning Post" newspaper. His name was recently removed from the commission's website.
The general was last observed in public on August 29, 2023, and was stripped of his role as Minister of Defense in October during a session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, without any given explanation.
Li took up his position in the CMC in October 2022, and by March 12, 2023, he was appointed Minister of Defense. His tenure lasted only seven months, making him the shortest-serving defense minister in the history of the PRC.
In 2018, the US State Department included Li on a sanctions list due to the PRC's arms dealings with Russia.
Despite these developments, Li remains a member of the CCP Central Committee and retains his parliamentary mandate.
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