Four months after the disappearance of Li Shangfu, China appoints a brand new protection minister | EUROtoday

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Former Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu in Singapore on June 4, 2023.

China has appointed Dong Jun as its new protection minister, the official Xinhua information company reported on Friday, December 29, citing a choice by the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese Parliament.

The submit had been vacant because the dismissal in October of his predecessor, Li Shangfu, whose final public look was on the finish of August. No purpose was ever given for his ouster after simply seven months in workplace. The Ministry of Defense has since refused to obviously say who’s appearing on the head of the biggest military on this planet.

Born in 1961, Dong Jun was promoted to navy commander in August 2021. He was beforehand a vice-in-charge of the Chinese navy’s Southern Command, which incorporates the South China Sea as its space of ​​operation, the place territorial disputes pit Beijing in opposition to neighboring international locations.

Read additionally: Article reserved for our subscribers Beijing continues to militarize islands within the South China Sea

Surprise promotion

This promotion is a shock. Analysts anticipated Liu Zhenli, a 59-year-old common and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to turn into China’s new protection minister. He notably spoke final week along with his American counterpart, General Charles Q. Brun Jr, throughout the first high-level name in additional than a yr between navy personnel from the 2 main world powers.

The appointment of Dong Jun, from the navy, is “a sign that China considers the South China Sea a new priority area”, estimates on X (previously Twitter) political scientist Wen-Ti Sung, an professional on the area on the Australian National University.

This appointment additionally comes two weeks earlier than a presidential election in Taiwan, which China considers one in every of its provinces, and after a reshuffle on the head of the Chinese military unit accountable for strategic missiles. , significantly nuclear.

In July, the authorities introduced that they would offer this unit with new administration with out explaining this transformation. Media experiences then reported a corruption investigation involving his former boss, who had not been seen in public for weeks.

The World with AFP