China ousts defence minister, leaves post vacant

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By Yew Lun Tian

BEIJING (Reuters) – China removed General Li Shangfu as defence minister and state councillor on Tuesday, in the second ousting of a senior leader in three months.

Qin Gang, who was removed as foreign minister in July, was also stripped of his state councillor position on Tuesday.

China’s top legislators, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, approved the removal of both men, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

No explanation was given for the removal. No replacement for Li was appointed, leaving the country without a defence minister as it prepares to host foreign defence officials at the Beijing Xiangshan Forum on Oct. 29-31.



Li Shangfu disappeared from public view two months ago. Reuters reported last month that Li was under investigation for corruption related to equipment procurement and development.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Mark Potter)

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