July 17th, 2024

Former Chinese defense minister expelled from ruling Communist Party over graft allegations

By The Associated Press on June 27, 2024.

BEIJING (AP) – Former Chinese defense minister Li Shangfu was expelled from the ruling Communist Party and is being investigated for corruption and bribery, the official Xinhua news agency reported Thursday. Li was removed from office in October 2023 after disappearing from public view for almost two months.

China’s former defense minister Li Shangfu has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party and accused of corruption, likely setting up a trial that could lead to his getting life in prison.

The Defense Ministry on Thursday said Li had abused his authority to enrich himself by taking bribes and granting favors in violation of military and party discipline.

Such charges have been leveled in past by numerous military leaders under the rule of President and party leader Xi Jinping, who also heads the armed forces as chairman of the Central Military Commission and has made a crackdown on corruption a hallmark of his rule since taking power more than a decade ago.

Li dropped out of sight for almost two months last year before being removed from office. 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.

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