Another China Minister Has Gone Missing: Defence Minister Li Shangfu


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He Has Not Been Seen in Almost Three Weeks

The world is getting crazier by the day, and today is no exception.

If you think Singapore’s political shake-ups are wild, take a look at this one from China.

China’s Defense Minister Li Shangfu was absent from a major military meeting on 15 September 2023, hitting the third week of his disappearance.

This comes after Western media sources reported that he was being put under a corruption probe.

Minister Li Absent From Big Military Meeting

Footage aired on the state broadcaster CCTV, and a report from state media Xinhua showed that Minister Li was absent from the meeting.

Image: eng.mod.gov.cn

The meeting was held by the People’s Liberation Army leadership concerning political education, where many high-ranking military personnel were present.

He also missed a previously scheduled meeting with senior Vietnamese defence officials on 7-8 September 2023.

At the time, Reuters reported that Vietnamese officials attributed the 65-year-old’s absence to “health reasons”.

His last public appearance was at Beijing’s China-Africa Peace and Security Forum on 29 August 2023, where he also delivered the keynote speech.

Image: YouTube (VOA Africa)

Allegedly Under Investigation

According to the US government, they believe Minister Li has been placed under investigation, as reported by the Financial Times.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Minister Li has been removed from his post and taken away for questioning.

The investigation pertains to the procurement of military equipment, although it is unclear which purchases have come under audit.

A US ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, has also stated that Minister Li “hasn’t been seen or heard from in three weeks” and that he might have been placed under house arrest.

Mr Emanuel publicly stated that Minister Li had also missed a meeting with the Republic of Singapore Navy’s Commander this week, although Singaporean authorities have yet to confirm his absence.

Caption: mindef.gov.sg

While there are no official reports or explanations on Minister Li’s whereabouts, US intelligence claims that he is in “some sort of political trouble”.

Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s Disappearance Earlier This Year

Earlier this year, China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang has been absent from all media since 25 June 2023.


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The reason for his disappearance is still unknown.

The foreign ministry cited health reasons while Chinese media entertained rumours of an extramarital affair and a child born out of wedlock.

Later, on 25 July 2023, a month after his disappearance, Mr Qin was removed from his position after just seven months, making him the shortest-serving foreign minister in China’s modern history.

We can do nothing but speculate what has happened to both of them at this point.

Will time reveal the truth, or will this remain an unexplained mystery for years to come?


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