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Where is Li Shangfu? China’s missing defence minister highlights Xi’s total grip on power

China’s latest missing minister underscores the move to centralised rule, and how questioning Xi’s judgement has become increasingly dangerous

Three weeks after he was last seen in public, there is still no official confirmation about what has happened to Gen Li Shangfu, China’s defence minister and the latest senior official to be seemingly swept up in China’s political purges.

Last week, Reuters reported that Li, along with eight other senior officials, was under investigation for the corrupt procurement of military equipment relating to his time at the helm of the equipment division of the Central Military Commission, the military’s ruling body, between September 2017 and October 2022. US intelligence has also made similar conclusions.

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