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China expels generals in military shake-up

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China has expelled nine military officials from its parliament, notably including four generals from the army’s strategic missile unit. 

The decision, disclosed by the state news agency Xinhua late on Friday, follows a meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party. Despite the sweeping changes, no official explanation was provided for the removal of these officials.

This move is part of a broader series of high-level restructuring initiatives within the military establishment, initiated following the abrupt dismissal of Defense Minister Li Shangfu in October. 

Li’s removal, who had been appointed in March, came after months of speculation about his whereabouts and his subsequent disappearance from public view in August.

The recent appointment of Dong Jun as the new defense minister, announced on Friday, marks the end of a months-long vacancy in this crucial strategic post. 

The reshuffling also extends to China’s Rocket Force, responsible for overseeing Beijing’s nuclear arsenal, with leadership changes reported amid media speculation about a corruption probe involving its former chief.

The nine officials expelled from the National People’s Congress on Friday were non-elected representatives in the parliament. 

Their removal “suggests that those officers are being probed and confirms some of the rumors circulating on the topic” says US-based SinoInsider, a firm specialising in Chinese politics.

 

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