Sunday, March 3, 2024

China removes nine People’s Liberation Army generals from top parliamentary posts in sign of widespread purges

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The remaining two work in equipment development departments such as the Central Military Commission (CMC), and one is a naval commander.

The CMC is the highest military command body in China’s political hierarchy and is chaired by President Xi Jinping.

The expelled soldiers include Li Yuchao, who had been commander of the Rocket Forces since January last year and was replaced in July, and his former deputy, Zhang Zhenzhong. Zhang served as the unit’s deputy commander from 2016 to 2022, and then as deputy chief of staff of the CMC Joint Staff.

Mr. Lee was replaced by Wang Houbin, former Deputy Commander of the Navy in July. Despite the surprise change, the Chinese government has not released an official statement about the reasons for the dismissals or an investigation.

On Friday, Li Chuanguang, who has served as deputy commander of the Rocket Force since 2016, Zhou Yanning, Li Yuchao’s predecessor as commander from 2017 to 2022, and the person responsible for the military’s current equipment development. Mr. Lu Hong, a member of the National People’s Congress, was also stripped of his role in the National People’s Congress on Friday.

They have represented most of the Rocket Force’s top leadership since it was established in a major overhaul of the People’s Liberation Army in 2015.

“Weapon quality comes first” in a complex world: From the Chinese generals to the upper echelons

Others dismissed include Rao Wenmin, deputy director of equipment development at the Central Military Commission, Zhang Yulin, who held the same position from 2016 to 2018, and Zhu Xinchun, commander of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s South Sea Fleet since February. It is.

Ding Laihang, who served as the commander of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force from 2017 to 2021, lost his qualifications as a representative of the National People’s Congress and also lost his qualifications as a member of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and the Overseas Chinese Committee.

There has been no official announcement so far as to whether any of the nine people are under any investigation.

However, the disqualification suggests they may face further disciplinary action, as NPC representatives enjoy immunity from arrest and criminal charges.

In a separate statement on Friday, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee said: appointed Former People’s Liberation Army Navy commander Dongjun has been appointed as China’s new defense minister, a post that had been vacant for two months.

No details were provided regarding Lee Sang-bok’s dismissal as defense secretary, but some clues were obtained.

His predecessor, Lee Sangbok, was fired in October without explanation after not being seen in public since late August. Mr. Li is also the former head of the Central Military Commission’s equipment development department, a role he held from 2017 to 2022. The department oversees the purchase of equipment and the development of military technology for the People’s Liberation Army.

The military is one of the main targets of President Xi’s broad anti-corruption campaign, now in its 20th year. The two most prominent targets were Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, both former vice-chairmen of the Central Military Commission.

Mr. Guo was sentenced to life imprisonment for bribery in 2016, and Mr. Xu died of cancer in 2015 while facing a military court.

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