fredag 28. juni 2024

China's Communist Party expels ex-defense chief, predecessor in graft probe

China on Thursday expelled its former Defense Minister Li Shangfu and his predecessor from the ruling Communist Party over corruption allegations, state broadcaster CCTV reported, deepening a sweeping purge within the top ranks of the military. Li was removed in October last year without explanation after he vanished from public view for two months, amid a series of high-level shakeups that have roiled the world’s largest military.

Li’s mysterious disappearance and drastic ouster just months into his job fueled intense speculation, coming after the surprise sacking of two top generals of the PLA Rocket Force, an elite unit overseeing the China’s nuclear and ballistic missiles, also without explanation.

Thursday’s announcement is the first official confirmation from Chinese authorities that graft allegations are behind his dramatic disappearance. In a sign of the scale of the high-level purges, Li’s predecessor, Wei Fenghe, was also expelled from the Communist Party Thursday over alleged corruption, according to CCTV.