China's Secretary of Defence 'Misteriously Missing', US Open Voice

The US finally opened its voices about the mysterious disappearance of Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu. What did the U.S. chief say?

Sep 16, 2023 - 10:02
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China's Secretary of Defence 'Misteriously Missing', US Open Voice

The U.S. government hasly been opening a vote on the disappearance of Chinese Defence Minister (Menhan) Li Shangfu from the public. It was by the Financial Times media, Thursday (14/9/2023).

U.S. officials say that at the moment Li is most likely the subject of investigation by Beijing. Washington also suspects that Li has been discharged.

Li himself suddenly withdrew from a meeting with the Vietnamese defence leaders last week. It happened in the midst of questions about his absence for more than two weeks in public.

The 65-year-old Li is scheduled to attend the annual meeting on defence cooperation organized by Vietnam on its border with China on 7-8 September. However, two Vietnamese officials told Reuters that the meeting was postponed after Beijing told Hanoi a few days before the event that the minister had "health problems".

Li's disappearance from the public has also gathered a number of comments. US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel posted on X, previously Twitter, on September 8 that Li is rarely seen.

Chinese Defense Minister General Li Shangfu meets German Defence Minister Pistorius (not in the photo).Pistorius participates in the Asian security forum "Shangri La Dialogue". (dpa/picture alliance via Getty I/pictures alliance)China Defense Secretary General Li Shanghaifou meets with the German defence minister Pistoris (none in the picture).Pisorius takes part in the Asia security forum Shanghai La dialogue.

Emanuel suspects that Li suffered a similar fate as former Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who recently disappeared and was then replaced by Wang Yi. "First, Minister of Foreign Affairs Qing Gang is missing, then the Commander of the Rocket Force is gone, and now Minister of Defence Li Shangfu has not been seen in public for these two weeks. Who will win this unemployment race? The Chinese youth or Xi's cabinet?" Li was last seen in Beijing on August 29 when he delivered an important speech at a security forum with African nations. He previously held high-level meetings during his trips to Russia and Belarus.

The Chinese Defence Minister is primarily responsible for defence diplomacy and does not lead combat forces. His public profile is less than that of the foreign minister, who frequently appears in the government media.

"The disappearance of Li, which happened shortly after Qin, shows how mysterious Chinese elite politics is in the eyes of the outside world," said Alfred Wu, a professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore.

"China under Xi's leadership does not feel the need to explain themselves to the world," he said.

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