søndag 7. juli 2024

How ready is China's military?

After months of intense speculation and official reticence, China has finally confirmed its two former defense ministers who vanished from public view last year had been under investigation for corruption.  Their dramatic downfall has exposed deep-rooted alleged deceit in key sectors of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s military modernization drive despite his decade-long war on graft, raising questions about the country’s combat readiness at a time of heightened geopolitical tensions.

Li Shangfu, who was drastically ousted as defense minister in October after only seven months on the job, and Wei Fenghe, who served from 2018 to 2023, were expelled from the ruling Communist Party following the investigations, with both cases handed over to military prosecutors for charges, state media reported Thursday.

The duo are the biggest heads to roll yet in a sweeping purge of China’s defense establishment since last summer, which has felled more than a dozen senior generals and executives from the military-industrial complex.