Disappearance of Defense Minister in China
Disappearance of Defense Minister and leadership changes raise concerns in China
China's recent events, including the disappearance of its defense minister and changes in leadership, are raising concerns about President Xi Jinping's rule. This uncertainty is impacting China's international relationships and could influence how other countries view the world's second-largest economy.
Disappearance of Defense Minister
China's Defense Minister, Li Shangfu, has been absent from important meetings, including those with foreign counterparts, since late August. He is currently under investigation for alleged corruption related to military procurement. This news has raised questions about his role in the country's defense.
Vanishing Foreign Minister
In July, China's newly appointed Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, disappeared with little explanation. The same month, there was a sudden reorganization within the military's elite Rocket Force, responsible for overseeing China's nuclear weapons. These events have added to the growing sense of unpredictability in China's leadership.
Jinping's focus on internal matters
President Xi Jinping has been increasingly inward-focused, causing concern among foreign diplomats. Notably, he skipped the Group of 20 summit in India, marking the first time he has missed such a global leaders' meeting during his decade in power. This absence has raised questions about China's commitment to international engagement.
Calls for a closer look
Given these growing uncertainties, some diplomats and analysts are urging a deeper examination of the true nature of President Xi's regime. They believe that it is crucial to assess China not just as a partner or competitor but also as a potential source of economic, political, and military risks. Drew Thompson, a former Pentagon official now working as a scholar at the National University of Singapore, emphasizes the need for clear-eyed assessments of China's role in the global landscape.