CCP expels 2 ex-defence ministers in anti-corruption crackdown

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The two expelled ex-ministers are Defence Minister Li Shangfu, who was sacked last year after going missing, and his predecessor Wei Fenghe….reports Asian Lite News

Chinese Communist Party, the ruling party in the country has expelled two former defence ministers as part of an ‘anti-corruption crackdown’, Al Jazeera reported citing state media.

The two expelled ex-ministers are Defence Minister Li Shangfu, who was sacked last year after going missing, and his predecessor Wei Fenghe.

The expulsion of Li and predecessor Wei Fenghe for “serious violation of party discipline and the law” was reported by the official news agency Xinhua on Thursday, the purge coming at a time of increasing tension between China and the United States over the fate of Taiwan.

General Li Shangfu. (Photo:Twittre)

Li was removed in October 2023 after only a few months in office following his disappearance from public view for almost two months. Xinhua reported that his case had been referred to military prosecutors, potentially setting up a trial that could lead to him getting life in prison.

The party’s powerful Politburo of senior leaders convened on Thursday to review Li’s status. They ruled that Li had “betrayed his original mission and lost his party spirit and principles”, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Li is alleged to have “seriously polluted the political environment and industrial ethos in the field of military equipment, and caused great damage to the party’s cause, national defence and the construction of the armed forces.”

The former defence minister was also accused of bribery, suspected of “taking advantage of his position and taking huge sums of money to seek benefits for others … and giving money to others to seek inappropriate benefits”, said CCTV.

Wei, who retired as defence minister in 2023 after five years in office, was accused of accepting money and gifts in violation of the rules and taking advantage of his post to seek benefits for others, accepting money and valuables in return, according to Xinhua.

Wei’s case has also been referred to military prosecutors.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also party’s leader and heads the armed forces as chairman of the Central Military Commission, has made the fight against corruption a hallmark of his rule since taking power more than a decade ago, Al Jazeera reported.

However, insiders have alleged a widespread purge of officers suspected of conspiring with outside forces or simply being insufficiently loyal to Xi. High-ranking officers occupy an elevated position in Chinese politics and can command extensive privileges.

Meanwhile, the CCP is set to hold a highly anticipated meeting on July 15-18, focusing on future strategies amid rising geopolitical tensions over tariff hikes by the US and the European Union. (ANI)

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