China’s Defence Minister Li Shangfu has been missing for two weeks, sparking speculation on Twitter. Li, 65, replaced Wei Fenghe, who resigned from the Central Military Commission at the Communist Party of China congress in October last year.
He is an aerospace engineer and has contributed to the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel compared China’s cabinet to Agatha Christie’s novel ‘And Then There Were None’.
Li was last seen addressing a China-Africa Forum in Beijing on August 29. He had previously visited Russia and Belarus, where he announced plans to increase military cooperation with Russia and its allies. Lee is reportedly surrounded by corruption allegations and may face serious disciplinary violations. Former Foreign Minister Qin Geng went missing before Li, who was dismissed from his post in July after going missing for over a month.
Many well-known personalities have gone missing mysteriously in China before, but most appeared in public after a few years or months. Alibaba founder Jack Ma was last seen in public in 2020 after criticizing China’s financial regulators. The Chinese government has not provided any information regarding his disappearance.