China refuses to explain sacking Defence Minister Li Shangfu

In a major reshuffle of top leadership, Beijing announced that Mr. Li Shangfu and ousted ex-Foreign Minister Qin Gang had been removed from the Cabinet

October 25, 2023 11:17 pm | Updated 11:17 pm IST - Beijing

China’s Defence Minister Li Shangfu. File

China’s Defence Minister Li Shangfu. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

China on October 25 refused to explain why Defence Minister Li Shangfu was removed from office, a day after he was fired following weeks out of the public eye.

In a major reshuffle of top leadership, Beijing announced on October 24 that Mr. Li and ousted ex-Foreign Minister Qin Gang had been removed from the Cabinet.

No explanation was given for their removal from office.

When asked about the firings on October 25, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told journalists she did not have "any other information to provide".

Ms. Mao instead referred media to state news agency Xinhua, which also provided no information about their removal from office.

"If you're concerned about whether China is transparent, what I can say is that we release information on all appointments and removals of personnel in a timely manner," she said.

Both Mr. Qin and Mr. Li are believed by experts to have been personally selected for their roles by President Xi Jinping.

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