US believes China Defence Minister faces inquiry: Media

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WASHINGTON – The US believes Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu is the subject of an investigation and has been relieved of his duties, the Financial Times reported, a sign of potential further upheaval in President Xi Jinping’s government less than a year into his third term.

The report cited three US officials and two people briefed on the intelligence as saying the US has made the determination. It did not describe the nature of the probe.

China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday morning (local time) before business hours.

China reportedly launched a graft inquiry into top officials in its rocket force unit in July. That command manages the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Mr Xi also surprisingly ousted his foreign minister, Mr Qin Gang, from the role after he dropped from public view for a month. China has given no explanation for his removal. BLOOMBERG

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